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Man dies in armed standoff with law enforcement in Kenwood

  • Members of the Napa County Sheriff's Office SWAT team wait at the scene of a standoff on Hoff Road in Kenwood, on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

A wanted man died after law enforcement officers deployed tear gas and shot at him Wednesday night, ending a prolonged standoff that began more than 19 hours earlier, when he barricaded himself in a rural Kenwood trailer.

The cause of death was unclear Wednesday night, authorities said.

The man, who at one point in the standoff shot at law enforcement with an assault rifle from the trailer, died outside the trailer after several rounds of tear gas were deployed and after officers fired at him, Sonoma Police Chief Bret Sackett said.

Kenwood Police Standoff

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"At one point, he fell to the ground," Sackett said. "Whether it was the action of law enforcement or a self-inflicted wound, we do not know yet."

The standoff, which began late Tuesday, involved a man sought by Napa County authorities on felony assault and child endangerment allegations. Law enforcement officials did not identify the man, saying they were still trying to reach his family and confirm his identity.

Napa County officials said they had obtained a warrant for the man's arrest through a case put together by the county's narcotics task force, which includes the Sheriff's Office and the city-based police departments.

Napa detectives had been looking for him for hours Tuesday and by mid-morning had tracked him to a trailer on Hoff Road, Sackett said.

Because he was believed to be dangerous and in possession of an assault rifle, Napa deputies asked the Sonoma County Sheriff's SWAT team to respond. They arrived between 8 and 9 p.m. Tuesday after obtaining a search warrant for the trailer. The man barricaded himself in the trailer about 11 p.m., according to Napa County authorities, and informed law enforcement that he was taking his girlfriend hostage, Sackett said.

The trailer is on a 3-acre property on the northwest side of Hoff Road, south of Oakmont and just off Highway 12. The property owner, who spoke on the condition his name not be published, said that a longtime friend of his, whom he did not identify, has been staying in the trailer and was there when the man arrived with his girlfriend to stay the night.

He said he did not believe his friend previously knew the couple, but that they apparently have a mutual acquaintance in Napa County. The friend apparently escaped from the trailer before law enforcement arrived.


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