Suspect arrested in death of 2 California deputies

AP News
Posted: Oct 25, 2014 3:01 AM
Suspect arrested in death of 2 California deputies

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A man armed with an assault rifle shot three sheriff's deputies and a civilian, killing two of the deputies and leading dozens of police officers on a wild six-hour chase and manhunt Friday that spanned two Northern California counties before the 34-year-old suspect was taken into custody.

Marcelo Marquez, of Salt Lake City, was taken alive Friday afternoon from a home in Auburn in Placer County after the shooting hours earlier in a strip mall in a commercial area of Sacramento, said Placer County Sheriff's spokeswoman Dena Erwin.

"This guy was on a one-man crime spree today. He has no idea of the damage he did," she said.

Marquez, 34, was examined at a hospital for unspecified injuries.

He and a woman also taken into custody were being questioned by investigators about their motives late Friday night and it was unclear when they would be formally arrested, Sacramento County sheriff's Sgt. Lisa Bowman said.

The shootings sparked a manhunt that included search dogs, helicopters and armored vehicles. Residents nearby were told to stay indoors, and schools were locked down. The owner of the home said officers used tear gas to drive the suspect from the basement.

"I think there's those people who would say, 'You know what, I wish you'd killed him,'" Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner said at a news conference. "Now, that's not who we are. We are not him. We did our job."

He identified his slain officer as sheriff's homicide Det. Michael David Davis Jr. The 42-year-old detective died 26 years to the day after his father, for whom he is named, died in the line of duty as a Riverside County deputy sheriff.

Gov. Jerry Brown Brown called the killings "a tragic reminder of the sacrifices we demand of our peace officers and the incredible courage they display as they protect our communities."

Flags at the state Capitol were ordered flown at half-staff.

The slaying of the deputies was the single deadliest day for California law enforcement since February 2013. In separate incidents that month, a former Los Angeles police officer killed two law enforcement officers, and two Santa Cruz police detectives were shot and killed.

Marquez had a driver's license that identified him as a Salt Lake City resident.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said the deadly chain of events began when Deputy Danny Oliver, 47, approached a suspicious vehicle in a motel parking lot around 10:30 a.m. and was shot in the forehead at close range. Oliver, the first county deputy killed since 2008, was a 15-year veteran who leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

"He was not able to return fire or do anything," Jones said. He said Oliver's partner shot back as the vehicle fled.

Bonner later described Davis as an 18-year law enforcement officer. Davis leaves behind a wife and four children.

Bonner said the wounded deputy, Jeff Davis, is a 17-year veteran who was shot in the arm. He was released after treatment at a hospital.

About a mile away, the suspect attempted to steal a car, but shot the driver in the head when he refused to give up his keys, Jones said. He did not know the condition of that victim but said he was alive and conscious when he was transported.

The assailants then stole a pickup from Jose Cruz, who was gardening outside a client's house in Sacramento.

Cruz told The Sacramento Bee that a man told him he needed a favor: "I need your keys," the man said. "Hurry up, because they're chasing me."

The suspects then fled to neighboring Placer County, about 30 miles north of Sacramento.

Deputies swarmed the area, and the suspect shot two deputies with an AR-15-type assault weapon.

Laura Larson, who lives at the Auburn home where the suspect was apprehended, told KCRA-TV that her uncle was at home when Marquez broke in but her uncle survived. She said her family has "no idea who this guy is."

House painter Sean Smith of Sacramento said he was working when he heard gunshots.

"Once I heard the rapid fire, I knew it was a shootout," he said. "Within 10 minutes there were sirens all over the place and six helicopters screaming overhead."


Associated Press writers Judy Lin, Juliet Williams and Alina Hartounian and AP photographer Rich Pedroncelli contributed to this story.