Calif. EMS providers transport hostage, gunman after shooting near fire station
Firefighters at Roseville Fire Department Station 5 heard gunfire and brought a wounded highway patrol officer into the station
By Michael McGough, Rosalio Ahumada, Molly Jarone
The Sacramento Bee
ROSEVILLE, Calif. — A man shot a California Highway Patrol officer Thursday at a Roseville park, then shot two additional people he had taken hostage, leaving one of the hostages dead and the other injured, before ultimately surrendering to law enforcement and being taken to a hospital, authorities said.
Roseville police responded shortly after 12:30 p.m. to a call from CHP reporting one of its officers had been shot at Mahany Park, Capt. Kelby Newton of the Roseville Police Department said in a news conference.
The suspect took two adult victims hostage at the park for a short time, until officers arrived and confronted him, Newton said.
The suspect allegedly shot both hostages. One of the hostages died at the scene, Newton said. The other was taken to a hospital, where their condition was not known as of Thursday afternoon.
The suspect surrendered to officers and was taken into custody, Newton said, before also being taken to a hospital for unspecified injuries. Newton said it did not appear the suspect had been shot.
“One of our officers was struck by gunfire from the suspect’s firearm,” CHP Officer Ricardo Ortiz said. “That officer is being treated for his injuries and is in stable condition.”
Newton said CHP was serving an arrest warrant at the time of the incident, but the nature of the warrant was not clear.
Ortiz said he had no other information available regarding the investigation, which remains active.
The shooting and hostage situation developed quickly, in a matter of minutes of police responding to the scene, Newton said.
“It was a rapidly evolving situation and occurred within a couple of minutes of the initial broadcast of the CHP officer being struck by gunfire,” the police captain said.
The identities and ages of the suspect and victims have not been released.
The incident drew a large police presence to the park on Pleasant Grove Boulevard beginning around 12:30 p.m.
The Roseville Police Department in a social media post just after 3:05 p.m. said the “suspect has been taken into custody and the scene is safe and no longer active.”
Dozens of law enforcement vehicles from multiple agencies remained at the scene as of 3:15 p.m. Activity centered on the park, which includes softball fields and a dog park.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the response, spokesman Sgt. Amar Gandhi said. Gandhi said “major” law enforcement activity was underway.
Placer County sheriff’s deputies were also at the scene. Pleasant Grove Road was closed to traffic between Woodcreek and Del Webb boulevards as of 2:30 p.m.
SHOOTING PROMPTED LOCKDOWNS, INCLUDING NEAR FIRE STATION
Police were using armored vehicles to attempt to contact a shooter as of 1:15 p.m. at a location near Mahany Park, according to dispatch radio traffic.
Multiple ambulances were also responding to the scene, according to radio traffic. The suspect was taken into custody shortly before 1:25 p.m., according to scanner audio.
An officer announced over the radio at 12:34 p.m. that shots were first fired at Mahany Park. The officer was in pursuit. Firefighters at Roseville Fire Department Station 5, adjacent to the park, reported active gunfire near the station, according to scanner traffic.
City parks and recreation personnel were hunkered down, taking shelter near the fire station. Officers reported the suspect, who they could see, was “armed with a pistol and taking shots at officers,” according to radio traffic.
At one point, a civilian was on one of the fields at the park with a dog; officers worked to evacuate the person. About eight minutes after the shooting began, a CHP officer was reportedly shot near the fire station.
Firefighters brought him into the station and performed medical aid, according to police radio. His condition was not immediately clear.
“There is an active police situation in Mahany Park at this time,” the Roseville Parks and Recreation Department said in a Facebook post just after 1:15 p.m.
“Mahany Fitness Center and Riley Library are currently in lockdown.”
Lockdowns were lifted at Mahany Park facilities around 3 p.m., the police department said. The fitness center and library will remain closed the rest of the day.
Children attending a day camp in the area were moved to Quail Glen Elementary School for pickup by parents.
INCIDENT TOOK PLACE NEAR SCHOOL, PARK AND BUSINESSES
Located on Pleasant Grove Boulevard in the western portion of Roseville, the Mahany Park complex includes softball and baseball fields, a dog park and a library.
Mahany Park is immediately adjacent to a Roseville fire station, sharing a driveway with the park’s parking lot. The scene is also near Woodcreek High School and the Roseville Aquatics Complex.
Classes were not in session at Woodcreek High due to spring break. The campus was briefly locked down for staff working at the school, Roseville Joint Union High School District board president Pete Constant said.
Several other businesses are located near the incident, including the Roseville Utility Exploration Center, Mahany Fitness Center and Martha Riley Community Library.
Across the street is an apartment complex, and a plaza with a Raley’s supermarket, Starbucks and banks.
‘WE GOT INTO A SAFE SPOT’: TEEN WITNESSES HEARD GUNFIRE
Ben Mercado, 13, was with friends at the batting cages at Mahany Park when they heard gunfire. “Roughly 20, 25 shots” to start with, Mercado said.
He believed what he heard was a shootout between the suspect and police.
“We dropped down, got into a safe spot in the cage.”
Mercado said he and his friends crawled on the ground toward police, who had them run to a nearby parking lot.
He said he heard roughly another 15 to 20 gunshots after leaving the batting cages for a total of about 40 shots.
The teen, off from school for spring break, said he goes to Mahany Park frequently with his friends to play baseball.
Ben’s mom, Nicole Mercado, is a nurse and was at work when her friends started texting her, asking her whether her son was at Mahany Park.
“They hang out here all the time,” Mercado said about her son and his friends.
“I was freaked out.” Around 12:40 p.m., she received a text message from her son saying he and his friends were just in the middle of a shootout. Police respond to a major incide