California: After shots fired and seven hour standoff, sheriff’s department decides to give up and leave

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PETALUMA, CA- On Tuesday, April 7th, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s office announced that a seven-hour standoff that occurred on Easter Sunday in Petaluma ended without any injuries or any arrests. 

Misti Wood, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office said that a man who is suspected of armed robbery barricaded himself inside a shed on Casa Grande Road. A hostage negotiations team, which included a psychologist, was unable to convince the man to surrender himself. 

According to The Press Democrat, the incident was first reported at 9:20 a.m. Sunday, when a man was reported to have stolen the bike from its owner and then shot out the windows of a residence, afterward remaining on the property on Casa Grande Road between Old Adobe Road and Hidden Valley Drive.

Several households were living on the property in different homes, including trailers, the Sheriff’s Office said.

When officers arrived on scene, the man barricaded himself inside a shed on the property.

In an effort to avoid any civilians being injured, deputies used a loudspeaker to call everyone else on the property out of their residences. There were a total of eight people who resided there, not including the suspect.

Deputies attempted to contact Saldana-Campos through his cellphone, but were unsuccessful. Deputies then called in the hostage negotiations team, as well as Petaluma fire and ambulance resources. Petaluma police and the Sheriff’s Office issued Nixle alerts warning people to avoid the area.

The Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that the hostage negotiations team responds to situations involving suicidal subjects, barricaded suspects and hostage-takers. Their role “is to build a rapport with the involved person and bring the situation to a peaceful resolution,”

Woods stated that Saldana-Campos did not comply with officers attempts to lure him out, and in the hours that followed, deputies began interviewing witnesses to piece together more of what had prompted people to call authorities in the first place. 

According to reports, witnesses told deputies that Saldana-Campos had stashed the stolen bike inside his home on the property. One person told deputies that Saldana-Campos had then emerged from his room with a firearm that appeared to be a BB or pellet gun. He fired two shots, though no one was injured.

Due to the fact that authorities were unsure if Saldana-Campos still had the weapon he used earlier, they had to weigh the safest course of action in response to his refusal to surrender, Wood said.

In this case, she said, the team decided on “full complete disengagement by ending the call.”

Wood stated that before leaving, deputies spoke with the other residents of the property about their plan to leave. All but two people said they would stay on the property even with the man still barricaded in the shed.

The two individuals who decided not to stay were able to find temporary housing thanks to the recommendation of deputies. 

At approximately 4:29 p.m. on Sunday, April 4th, deputies gave the public the “all clear” signal through Nixle, more than seven hours after the first call.

Law enforcement have had previous interactions with Saldana-Campos, and so they also felt confident that they would be able to locate him and arrest him another time, Wood said.

Wood said:

“We know who he is,”

She went on to say:

“We were evaluating the risk to everybody on-site and that was why we decided to walk away.”

The arrest warrant issued for Saldana-Campos is for allegations including felony robbery and felony threatening of witnesses.

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Police K9 Luna murdered by barricaded suspect who had felony warrants for his arrest

March 7, 2021

DULUTH, MN– On February 25th, Duluth Police Department K9 Luna was killed in the line of duty after being shot while trying to apprehend a gunman. 

According to reports, the incident began when officers responded to a “physical domestic” incident on the 2300 block of West Fourth Street around 8:30 p.m. 

When officers arrived on scene, they discovered the male suspect, who refused to surrender, had felony warrants for his arrest. 

Police said K9 Luna was sent in to apprehend the suspect, at which point, the suspect fired gunshots, which hit Luna. Officers returned fire, then set up a perimeter to contain the scene, according to the Duluth Police Department, ABC5 reported.

Police said Luna was taken to an emergency veterinary clinic, but unfortunately did not survive her injuries. 

No officers were hurt in the incident, police said.

Duluth police department reported on Twitter at the time:

“The suspect continues to be dangerous, armed and uncooperative,”

 

According to KTTC, the standoff lasted for 20 hours before the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension confirmed the gunman had been found dead inside the home.

The suspect has now been identified as 37-year-old David Joseph Wayne Conwell, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

The Officer Down Memorial Page reported that K9 Luna was a three-year-old Dutch Shepherd who served the DPD for two years.

Her handler was DPD Officer Aaron Haller.

In 2019, Officer Haller told the paper:

“She’s been a great dog,” 

He went on to say:

“At home, she’s very capable of turning the switch off. She’s very good with the kids and wife — she’s a lap dog basically. But then at work she’s totally different.”

Sadly, this is not the first K9 that Officer Haller has lost in the line of duty. On January 13, 2019 Officer Haller’s former dog K9 Haas was shot and killed in the line of duty by another barricaded domestic violence suspect. 

Robbin Champaigne is the president of the Northland K9 Foundation, an organization that helped raise the funds to get Luna to Duluth, USSA reported.

When speaking about K9 Luna’s death Champaigne said:

“She’s beauty, and snuggles, and smart, and fierce, all at the same time. She was an amazing dog,”

She continued:

“We are all very much grieving.”

Knowing how hard this must be on Officer Haller and his family, Champaigne said:

“He and his family and his department are going through this a second time in just over two years. Again, we just ask for thoughts and prayers, and just rally together to support our police,” 

Officers in St. Paul are also sharing the grief. St. Paul Police K9 Unit Commander Paul Ford said:

“It hits home for us, especially because that officer and that K9 came through our K9 school a couple of years ago, so we have that relationship. And we’ve had Duluth officers in our school since then, so it is personal for us,”

Ford continued:

“It’s like losing one of our own family. It’s a good reminder, that, it didn’t happen here, but it can happen anywhere. It can happen to any one of our K9 handlers and their K9 partner as well.”

USSA News reported that there are 18 K9s serving as part of St. Paul’s unit. It’s in part because they’re so versatile. They can track and locate suspects, individuals, evidence and narcotics, oftentimes, quicker than a person can. And the K9s protect their handler just as much as they protect the community.

Ford said:

“They can do a lot of things that will make us safer. But they’re putting themselves at risk, and the community should understand that,” 

Our sincerest condolences are with Officer Haller, his family, and the entire DPD. 

On February 23rd, we reported on a K9 officer who was in critical condition after being shot three times. Here is that complete story. 

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