New Details, Pictures Released From Standoff, Hostage Situation at Modesto Home

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Jose Astorga Jr. hides himself and the boy he is holding hostage under an orange, hooded jacket while the SWAT team makes contact. (Credit: Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department)

MODESTO — The sheriff’s department has released additional details about a hostage situation at a Modesto home that ended in the death of an armed suspect.

On June 6 at 1:42 p.m., an armed stranger, who the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department identified as 37-year-old Jose Astorga Jr., broke into a house on Olivero Road while three siblings were inside.

Their mother told FOX40 Astorga “ran in my home and thought that somebody was going to kill him and so he wouldn’t leave.”

One of the siblings managed to get outside and told a neighbor to call 911 and another girl escaped as deputies were arriving. As the 14-year-old boy tried to leave through the front door, deputies watched Astorga close the door and keep the boy inside, according to the sheriff’s department.

The SWAT team places a wired telephone in an open window. (Credit: Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department)

As deputies and patrol sergeants set up a perimeter around the house, the sheriff’s department says the 17- and 12-year-old girls told them Astorga had a shotgun and was acting paranoid.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s SWAT and Hostage Negotiation teams were called in when Astorga would not respond to deputies. At one point, the SWAT team placed a wired telephone in an open window so they could speak with the suspect and the victim.

Three hours into the standoff, SWAT team members were able to make contact through a window as Astorga concealed himself and the boy under an orange, hooded jacket.

The sheriff’s department says the boy tried to escape through the window but Astorga grabbed his shoulders and began pulling him back inside. While the SWAT team held onto the boy, Deputy Fernando Gomez shot at Astorga from an elevated position on an armored rescue vehicle parked in the front yard.

SWAT team members pull the boy through the window. (Credit: Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department)

The SWAT team was able to rescue the boy, who was uninjured, and Astorga died from Deputy Gomez’s gunfire.

A loaded firearm was found in the house.

“[Astorga] was currently wanted by the sheriff’s department for a noble felony warrant for auto theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and resisting arrest,” explained Deputy Raj Singh, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.

Anyone with any additional information about the incident has been asked to call Detective Cory Brown at 209-567-4485.

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