Placer County Sheriff's Office explains fatal police shooting near Squaw Valley
Placer County sheriff’s deputies early Friday shot and killed a man along Highway 89 in the Sierra Nevada who they said was armed and holding a woman hostage.
The incident began about 1:40 a.m. when deputies and California Highway Patrol officers tried to pull over a driver suspected of being drunk. The motorist was driving in an erratic and dangerous manner on Highway 28 in the North Lake Tahoe area, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The officers stopped the pursuit a few minutes into the chase because the motorist was driving dangerously around Tahoe City. At 2:45 a.m., a deputy spotted the same driver on Highway 28 near Dollar Hill.
The car was traveling erratically again and an attempt to pull the driver over again was unsuccessful. A second pursuit began.
Deputies and CHP officers both deployed spike strips on the roadway, which burst the driver’s tires. The car stopped on Highway 89 between the Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows resorts.
The driver got out of his car and held his female passenger hostage at gunpoint, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office. The armed man walked away with her and pointed his gun at deputies and passing vehicles, the news release said.
“At one point he tried to stop passing cars, pointing his weapon,” said Placer County sheriff’s Lt. Troy Sander. “We thought at that time he was trying to carjack another vehicle.”
The man then began walking up the driveway of an occupied home, followed by deputies and CHP officers. The man pointed the weapon at the hostage and the deputies, the news release said.
“Our officers tried to negotiate with the individual, but fearing for the safety of all involved, including the hostage and potentially the people in the home, officers used lethal force and eliminated the threat,” Sander said.
The man, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman, deputies and CHP officers were not injured.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office reported that Highway 89 between Squaw Valley Road and Alpine Meadows was reopened at 12:50 p.m.