A suspect wanted in Napa County on multiple felonies was shot dead Wednesday evening in Sonoma County after a standoff with law enforcement officers from Sonoma and Napa counties that began before midnight the day before.
The man, who was wanted in connection with felony arms, drug and child endangerment crimes, died sometime after 5 p.m. Wednesday in Kenwood during a shoot-out with officers, according to law enforcement statements.
As of Thursday afternoon, it was unclear if the man had died from a self-inflicted bullet or from shots fired by SWAT team personnel, according to the Petaluma Police Department which is investigating the incident. There were no other injuries, said Petaluma Police Lt. Matt Stapleton.
Stapleton did not name the suspect, but the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, quoting the property owner, identified the man as Miguel Angel Garcia.
Napa County Crime Stoppers, which posts the names of wanted crime suspects online and had listed 32-year-old Garcia as one of its suspects, on Thursday afternoon sent a notice stating that Garcia was “deceased effective 04-03-2014.”
Garcia had been wanted since March 17 when he failed to appear in Napa County Superior Court where he had been charged with illegal firearm possession, child endangerment, stolen property and drug possession.
Garcia had been arrested Feb. 8 in Napa during a traffic stop and released on $100,000 bail, according to court records. Garcia, who was on probation, allegedly had suspected methamphetamine, a glass drug pipe, a rifle scope and a concealed pistol magazine case in his vehicle, police said in a court filing.
As a followup to the traffic stop, Napa Police did a warrant search of his apartment on Cooper Court where they found firearms, which he was not allowed to have because he was a convicted felon. Children had access to two loaded handguns, police said.
Stapleton confirmed that law enforcement personnel from Napa County were at the scene of the shoot-out, but declined to say how many officers and from what agency.
Napa County Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Blower and Napa Police Capt. Jeff Troendly said SWAT team members from their respective agencies assisted in the operation. Troendly said the 15 Napa police officers included three officers assigned to the Napa Special Investigations Bureau, a multi-agency team that focuses on drug-related crimes.
The incident began at about 11:50 p.m. Tuesday, when law enforcement officials from Napa County and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office went to the mobile home with search and arrest warrants.
The owner of the mobile home immediately came out. He confirmed the wanted man was inside the mobile home with a female, whom he believed was a hostage, said Sonoma County Sheriff’s Lt. Bret Sackett. The man confirmed the suspect was armed with a rifle, handgun and had body armor.
During the night, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Hostage Negotiation Team tried to convince the suspect to give up and release the woman. She was released at about 8:30 a.m.
The Santa Rosa Police Department’s SWAT team relieved the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit at about 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sackett said. During the negotiations, the suspect confessed to several violent felonies, including a murder, Sackett said. Law enforcement tried to verify the claims.
The tone and tenor or the negotiations then changed. The man became less communicative. He threatened to kill himself on numerous occasions or create a situation where he would force law enforcement to kill him, officials said.
At about 5 p.m., the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit resumed control of the scene. The sheriff’s office’s SWAT team fired tear gas into the mobile home. The man then responded by shooting out of the trailer. Bullets hit law enforcement vehicles and a home, Stapleton said. The SWAT team then fired more tear gas into the mobile home.
“At that time the front door opened on the trailer and the suspect appeared. Perceiving a threat and fearing for their safety, SWAT team members engaged the suspect with their weapons. The suspect fell to the ground,” Sackett said.
The Petaluma Police Department is investigating the incident with assistance from the Santa Rosa Police Department. The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office will review the case.