A gunman suspected of shooting and wounding two Northern California police was holed up in a burning house early Thursday and in an armed standoff with law officers, authorities 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.
The lone suspect was eventually tracked down to a home in the San Francisco Bay-area community of Fremont, where he was involved in the standoff, said Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s office.
Fremont home where officer shooting suspect is barricaded is still on fire.
Police hoping daylight will help. pic.twitter.com/eRvb1x5mTG
— Matt Keller (@MattKellerABC7) June 2, 2016
“We have one shooter that shot our officers,” Kelly told The Associated Press. “He’s inside and we’re negotiating for him for him to surrender. We’re actively engaged in that process right now.”
Witnesses heard eight to nine loud bangs early Thursday, which were believed to be from flash bombs.
He said no one was home when the suspect broke in and barricaded himself inside. No one else has been injured since the police shootings, but the roof of the house where the suspect is believed to be is on fire. It is not clear what started the blaze, but firefighters are currently at the scene dousing the home with water.
The incident started when an officer with a year’s service with the department stopped a white pickup truck in Fremont, which is about 40 miles south of San Francisco, police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said.
The pickup truck backed up into the officer’s patrol car, a person in the truck fired shots that injured the officer and the shooter and another suspect fled on foot.
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.
Bosques told the East Bay Times that the officer in the initial shooting was in critical condition after surgery. The second officer remained in stable condition.
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.
Kelly said residents of the neighborhood can breathe easier now that the shooting suspect has been confined to one site.
“This is obviously a very dangerous individual. He has already showed a propensity for violence and a willingness to hurt two police officers,” Kelly said.
He said the others were with the suspect when the shooting erupted, but just the single gunman was accused in the violence.
Kelly said the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department has taken over tactical command of the scene while Fremont deals with its two fallen officers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report