An armed suspect is dead and a 1-year-old boy safe after a dramatic ending to a more than 55-hour standoff in Sacramento. The suspect, 26-year-old Anthony Alvarez, had been holding his cousin’s young son hostage since late Wednesday morning at an apartment complex in the 2400 block of Arden Wy in an unincorporated area near Sacramento. Alvarez was wanted for allegedly shooting at a Concord police officer who was investigating his involvement in a May 26 bank robbery in Concord, and was also being sought for questioning in a Bay Area homicide, authorities said. Alvarez had spent much of the past three days in a hallway where he couldn’t be seen from the outside. “We had a line of sight into every room in the apartment except for the hallway where he was hiding,” sheriff’s Sgt. Tim Curran said tonight. This evening authorities made their move. Shortly before 7 p.m., a bomb squad blasted an 18-inch hole in a wall of the unit, providing a view into the hallway where Alvarez was holed up, Curran said. About 10-15 minutes later, a sheriff’s SWAT member approached the hole and came into Alvarez’s view. Alvarez “saw the officer at the hole and he engaged and started shooting,” Curran said. The SWAT officer shot back, hitting and wounding Alvarez, he said. “During the whole time, the baby was in close proximity to the suspect,” Curran said. While the gunfire was being exchanged, other SWAT officers broke through a living room window and entered the apartment. They shot at the wounded Alvarez, killing him, Curran said. The baby suffered a small scrape to his leg at some point during the standoff but was otherwise unharmed, Curran said. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation and reunited with his family. Curran said he had visited the boy as he sat in the back of an
ambulance and called him “the cutest little boy you’d ever want to see.” “I almost started crying,” he said. “I get all choked up talking about it.” “He literally appeared no worse for wear,” Curran said. “He’d been in a terrible event … but he appeared happy, healthy.” A SWAT member suffered a severe cut to his leg while going through the window and was taken to a hospital to be treated, Curran said. He later returned to the scene.
Curran called the sheriff’s crew heroes, and said a standoff like this one is unprecedented in sheriff’s department history. The officers involved in the shooting will be placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated by the sheriff’s homicide bureau, internal affairs unit and the county district attorney’s
office. Some residents of the 82-unit apartment complex where the standoff happened remain evacuated tonight and are being offered shelter at a local high school. Alvarez, who turned 26 on Thursday, was suspected in several Bay Area robberies, including a May 26 robbery at a U.S. Bank on Clayton Road in
Concord. He allegedly shot at a police officer who pursued him after a traffic stop on June 4, police said.
According to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, Alvarez had a prior conviction for a drug-related arrest in 2006, as well as a probation violation in 2009. He was traced to the Sacramento apartment complex and police, with the assistance of Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies and an FBI representative, descended on the complex Wednesday morning. The standoff began at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday after Alvarez saw
an officer, grabbed his cousin’s infant son and brought him into an apartment. Several adults were able to flee the apartment. A 4-year-old child who was also in the unit at the time was evacuated through a rear window without Alvarez’s knowledge. Arden Way has been blocked off between Fulton Avenue and Bell Street since the standoff began.
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