The standoff between a 38-year-old man believed to have gunned down a woman in broad daylight in Walnut Creek’s Larkey Park continued into its second day Friday as a regional SWAT team surrounded the suspect’s gray Mercedes on Arnold Drive in Martinez.
NEWS24/680 is not identifying the man at this time. Investigators said he had a dating relationship with the woman, described only as a 47-year-old with known addresses in Martinez and Stockton, and that he calmly shot her four times in front of horrified onlookers before getting into his car and driving away Thursday afternoon.
Officers found the woman suffering from four gunshot wounds in the 1900 block of 1st Avenue shortly after they were called to the area around 1:30 p.m. Officers and medical teams provided life-saving measures but the victim was pronounced deceased at 1:42 p.m.
Witnesses stated the suspect shot the victim, got into a silver Chevy sedan and fled the scene, heading south on Buena Vista Avenue. Witnesses could only provide a partial license plate at the time.
The suspect abandoned the vehicle on Lynvale Lane and fled on foot. Approximately 60 minutes later, Officers and Detectives located the vehicle on Lynvale Lane. A contingent of SWAT Officers, K9’s, Patrol Officers and a CHP helicopter searched the area. The K9 tracked the scent of the suspect to a residence on San Luis Road. Walnut Creek Police Department set up a perimeter around the house, closed San Luis Road and activated the SWAT Team (Central County SWAT, which is Walnut Creek Police, San Ramon Police, Martinez Police, Pleasant Hill Police and BART Police).
At approximately 6:55 PM, Two Walnut Creek Police Officers spotted the suspect riding in the front passenger seat of a silver Mercedes in Martinez. With help from Martinez police a high-risk traffic stop was executed on Howe Road and Arnold Road. During the traffic stop the driver exited the vehicle and was detained, interviewed and later released.
Subsequently, police said, the suspect put a gun to his head, remained in the vehicle and stated he was going to harm himself. Officers controlled the scene and after approximately twenty minutes were relieved by Central County SWAT and their negotiators.
The negotiations continued throughout the night and are currently occurring. During the negotiations the suspect accidentally fired his handgun through the windshield. No one was hurt due to this discharge, police said.
At approximately 2 a.m., Contra Costa County Sheriff’s SWAT Team officers relieved Central County SWAT, which is normal procedure in a long-term event. Central County SWAT will be taking over the event later this morning. Since the transition the suspect continues to put the gun to his head.