What began as a pursuit of a drunk driver ended with a Placer County sergeant shooting and killing an armed man, his hostage, an arm’s length away, escaped unharmed.
The ordeal ended in a driveway off Highway 89. The homeowners were not willing to talk on camera, but say they heard officers yelling at the suspect before the fatal shot was fired around 3 a.m. Friday.
"Our deputies on scene clearly felt there was an imminent to danger to life both for the victim, the officers and the house that the male adult was headed to,” said Lt. Troy Sander with the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.
Sander says just before 2 a.m., CHP officers tried to pull a driver over for a possible DUI on Highway 28 near Tahoe City. Instead of pulling over, he took off, leading officers on a pursuit that would last beyond the next hour.
Eventually Placer County deputies spotted the suspect's car, and laid down spike strips as he continued onto Highway 89.
A second attempt to lay down the spike strips at an intersection on Alpine Meadows Road was successful, but the driver got out with a hostage and gun drawn and continued to walk up the road. On foot, investigators say the suspect tried to carjack a driver before walking into a family’s driveway -- the entire time, shifting the aim of his gun from officers, to drivers, to his hostage.
"Deputies and officers were negotiating with him. He was ignoring all their commands,” Sander said.
Now law enforcement is left to figure out why.
"We're doing our best to fill in the blanks as to what led to this encounter,” Sander said.