EPD Identifies Suspect Killed in Standoff


Eureka police have identified the man fatally shot by Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs after a lengthy standoff yesterday as Daniel Martinez, 43, of Eureka.

According to police, the incident began at about 5:45 a.m. with a report of a juvenile with a "significant laceration" to his neck who said he'd been assaulted by a family member at a house in the 1400 block of Union Street, adding there were other people in the home "who had been threatened or were in danger."

Police responded to the residence and learned the suspect had moved the home's other occupants to a second-story bedroom and barricaded them and himself inside, holding them hostage, according to a press release.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office SWAT team and the Crisis Negotiation Team responded to the scene and negotiations continued for hours, according to the press release, until all four hostages — an adult woman and three juveniles, ages 4 to 12, were safely released around 1 p.m.

Negotiations continued with the suspect, according to the release, which added he was "non-compliant and refused to surrender." Detectives, the press release states, obtained an arrest warrant.

"At approximately 4:58 p.m., contact with the suspect was made, and an officer involved shooting occurred," the press release states, adding that Martinez was shot and later died at a local hospital.

EPD Chief Brian Stephens did not immediately respond to an inquiry from the Journal asking how officers made contact with Martinez — whether he exited the residence, officers forced entry inside or something else — but we'll update this post if we hear back.

According to the release, two officers — both sheriff's deputies assigned to the SWAT team — fired their weapons and have been placed on paid administrative leave, per protocol.

The investigation remains under investigation by the multi-agency Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team, led by EPD and the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office.

Find the full press release here.

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