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Police: Man killed in Kenwood standoff suffered apparent self-inflicted gunshot


A Napa man fatally shot in a 19-hour standoff with law enforcement in Kenwood last week died from a single gunshot wound to the chest that authorities say appears to have been self-inflicted.

The preliminary finding came in an autopsy performed Monday on Miguel Angel Garcia, 32, Petaluma police reported.

Garcia had no other gunshot injuries except the close-contact wound to his chest, despite some gunfire exchanged with sheriff's deputies during the prolonged wait for his surrender, police said.

He had threatened to take his life during the standoff, or force authorities to take his life for him — an act known as "suicide by cop," the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said.

Monday marked the first time a law enforcement agency has confirmed Garcia's identity. He had previously been identified by a resident and an owner of the Hoff Road property where Garcia barricaded himself inside a trailer late on the night of April 1.

During periodic negotiations preceding his death, Garcia confessed to a number of violent crimes, including murder, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said.

Garcia reportedly told law enforcement officials where to find a slaying victim, leading authorities Thursday to find a man's remains near Lake Hennessey in east Napa County.

An autopsy was conducted Monday on the slain man, but no results were being released, Napa County Sheriff's Capt. Steve Blower said.

Blower also said the victim's name was not available for publication.

Garcia was wanted on criminal charges out of Napa County when authorities surrounded the trailer off Hoff Road last Tuesday.

The occupant of the trailer escaped in the early minutes, but Garcia apparently held his girlfriend as a hostage until her release was negotiated the next morning, April 2.

Garcia refused to surrender, however, and at one point, after tear gas was deployed, sprayed gunfire indiscriminately from the trailer, hitting several patrol cars and a neighbor's house and prompting at least one deputy to fire back, according to law enforcement reports.

After more tear gas was deployed, Garcia came outside, collapsed and died, Petaluma police said.

Police said an assault rifle was found inside the trailer where Garcia had encamped.

Petaluma police said the crime scene in Kenwood was still being processed and that Santa Rosa police experts were still analyzing physical evidence, as well.

Lt. Matt Stapleton said there was no word yet on evidence directly linking Garcia's firearm to his chest wound, though that type of analysis usually takes some time, Lt. Tim Lyons said.

Garcia, who has a criminal history in Mendocino County, was wanted in Napa County for felony failure to appear in court on a child endangerment charge, unlawful firearm and ammunition possession, receipt of stolen property and possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia when he turned up in the Sonoma Valley last week, law enforcement said.

At the request of the Napa County Major Crimes Task Force, a Sonoma County sheriff's special operations unit, and later Santa Rosa police, surrounded the trailer shortly before midnight Tuesday to try to serve an arrest warrant, prompting the standoff.

Petaluma police are asking that anyone with information about the case to contact police Detective Tami Shoemaker, at (707) 778-4444, or Detective Joel Stemmer, at (707) 778-4532.

(You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 521-5249 or mary.callahan@pressdemocrat.com.)