A man shot and killed by Placer County sheriff’s deputies along Highway 89 in the Sierra Nevada early Friday has been identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Jose Gonzales Lera, 27, of Lakewood, Colo.
A sheriff’s spokesman said Friday that Lera was armed and holding a woman hostage when deputies shot him after a pursuit.
Deputies and California Highway Patrol officers had tried to pull over a driver suspected of being drunk about 1:40 a.m. The motorist was driving in an erratic and dangerous manner on Highway 28 in the North Lake Tahoe area, sheriff’s officials said.
Officers stopped the pursuit after a few minutes because the motorist was driving dangerously around Tahoe City. At 2:45 a.m., a deputy spotted the same car on Highway 28 near Dollar Hill and gave chase.
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Deputies and CHP officers deployed spike strips, which burst the vehicle’s tires, and the car stopped on Highway 89 between the Squaw Valley and Alpine resorts.
The driver got out of the car and held his female passenger at gunpoint, sheriff’s officials said. The man walked away with the woman and pointed the gun at deputies and passing cars, the news release said.
At one point, he tried to stop passing cars and deputies thought he was trying to carjack another vehicle, said Lt. Troy Sander, sheriff’s spokesman.
Deputies tried to negotiate with Lera, but he ignored their efforts, and as he dragged the woman up the driveway toward an occupied home, he was shot, officials said.