Local

Motel standoff in Tulare Co. ends peacefully

Monday, February 21, 2011

A murder investigation that started in Bakersfield on Saturday ended with a long SWAT standoff in Tulare County Monday morning.

Officers surrounded the Motel 99 right off the highway for 11 hours.

The four men ended the stand-off peacefully after they came outside of their second-floor motel room with their hands in the air.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office along with the Bakersfield and Visalia Police departments swarmed Motel 99 near Tagus Ranch Monday morning.

Bakersfield Police received a tip that several people wanted in connection with a Bakersfield homicide over the weekend, were staying at the motel.

"They refused to speak to us refused to come out of the room. At that point we called and received the assistance of the Tulare co sheriff's dept," Sgt. Greg Terry said.

Tulare County SWAT officers took to the roof and other areas outside the suspects' room and made several attempts to talk to them.

Eleven hours later, four men surrendered.

"We actually attempted to send in a communication device a cell phone type device that would allow us to communicate with them a little better as we sent that in the door opened and four subjects Hispanic males did come out without incident hands in the air," Sgt. Chris Douglass said.

Bakersfield Police wanted to question three of the men about a deadly shooting that took place at the nightclub, "Dome" on Saturday morning.

The SWAT stand-off forced the evacuation of 45 people staying at the motel and working at a nearby pistachio plant.

"Pretty much had idea what was going on didn't know to the extent until I pulled around the corner and this whole parking lot was full of all their vehicles," Lonnie Stafford said.

"At the beginning we were really kind of scared what is going on you know," Mangel Darke said.

The Sheriff's Office is looking into whether one of the suspects taken into custody has a prior warrant in Tulare County.

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tulare county, swat, local, jessica peres
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