CALAVERAS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating after a domestic violence suspect was shot and killed, and a Calaveras County deputy and hostage were shot and injured Thursday evening.
George Hubbs lives at the San Andreas apartment complex where a deputy was shot and where the man who pulled the trigger was later shot and killed by responding deputies.
“My wife woke me up, she said she heard four gunshots, so I look out the window and that’s when I see all the cops everywhere and everything,” he said. “It looked like they were looking for somebody. And then, so I go back into my house and next thing I know I hear this lady come screaming out the door saying, ‘He’s in my house! He’s got a gun, he’s got my grandma!’”
Around 10:39 p.m., the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a man and woman arguing at the Sierra Inn Motel in San Andreas. The caller told dispatch the man pointed a gun at the woman’s head.
Deputies quickly found the woman at an apartment building on Lewis Avenue, but the man with the gun had vanished.
“A solo deputy was talking with her, getting some additional information. While speaking with her the suspect ambushed both of them,” said Sgt. Greg Stark with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office.
The deputy was able to get the woman to safety but he was shot in the process.
“He was wearing a bullet-resistant vest at the time, however, the round struck him where the vest was not,” Sgt. Stark told FOX40.
As the deputy treated his wounds, more deputies and officers from Angels Camp and the California Highway Patrol arrived to search for the suspect.
“Unbeknownst to the deputies, the suspect had entered a home of an innocent bystander who was sitting in her living room, an elderly female in her 70s,” Sgt. Stark explained.
The man then took her hostage at gunpoint.
“She was using a walker to get around as he was holding a gun to her,” Sgt. Stark said.
“The dude was coming out, it looked like he was behind the lady,” Hubbs told FOX40.
The sheriff’s office said the deputies tried to talk the man into dropping the gun and letting the woman go, but he did not.
“He was given every opportunity to end this peacefully. He decided not to,” Sgt. Stark said. “It was his decision that caused the reaction by the deputies.”
“And then all of a sudden I hear, ‘bang, bang, bang, bang,’” Hubbs said. “Next thing I know, dude was laying on the ground, dead. And I think the grandma got shot too.”
The elderly hostage was rushed to the hospital and is expected to survive.
Meanwhile the sheriff’s office is standing by their deputy’s decision to take the man’s life.
“It was a very intense situation, a very stressful situation for our deputies, something that they’re going to be carrying with for a very long time,” Sgt. Stark said. “And they were making split-second decisions and doing a damn good job of it.”
Whether that elderly hostage was injured by police gunfire, a ricochet or falling is still not clear.
The deputy who was shot, along with the original victim, are both expected to be OK.