FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — The body of a man accused of wounding two California police officers has been found inside a home that caught fire after police tear-gassed the place in an effort to force him out of the residence, officials said Thursday.
Fremont police said it was not immediately known if Gerald Villabrille Jr., 44, died from the fire or gunshot wounds sustained during the initial shooting. Police said Villabrille lived in San Jose and had a criminal record, but declined to provide further details.
No one else was injured in the fire at the Fremont home.
The man's body was found Thursday morning after an overnight standoff that started when the suspect shot the locks off a door to a vacant home and barricaded himself inside overnight, Fremont police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said.
The officers from the Fremont Police Department were shot Wednesday afternoon after a traffic stop turned violent, prompting a manhunt that involved a house-to- house search that lasted well into the night, Alameda County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Ray Kelly said. Fremont is about 40 miles south of San Francisco.
One officer remains in critical condition. The second officer is in stable condition, Bosques said. Their names have not been released.
The incident started when the suspect backed into an officer's patrol car and a person inside the white pickup truck fired shots that injured the officer. The shooter and another suspect then ran away, Kelly said.
Shortly after that officers from several law enforcement agencies flooded the area and searching got underway.
A while later, a Fremont police officer with about 10 years of service with the department was wounded in a shootout with the suspect, officials said.
Following the shooting, investigators had ordered residents of the blue-collar neighborhood to remain in their homes and to call police about anything suspicious. Police helicopters were deployed and police dogs used in searching yard-by-yard and door-to-door.
Associated Press writers Bob Seavey in Phoenix and Kristin J. Bender in San Francisco contributed to this report.