Modesto, CA – The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department released bodycam video of officers fatally shooting a fugitive and rescuing his hostage (video below).
The incident occurred after Stanislaus County sheriff’s received a report of a false imprisonment and began investigating 52-year-old Stephen Murray, KCRA reported.
Investigators were able to confirm a woman was being held against her will at Murray’s South Jefferson Street home, so they secured an arrest warrant for Murray on false imprisonment and weapons violations.
Officials later said the woman who Murray was holding prisoner was his wife, KCRA reported.
The sheriff’s department said Murray was already wanted for auto theft on July 17 when officers set up surveillance on his house.
Several attempts were made by the Hostage Negotiation Team to settle the matter peacefully but Murray proved uncooperative and threatened deputies.
“Someone inside the house believed to be Murray said he had a hostage and would hurt people if we entered,” Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse said.
After two hours of waiting, deputies saw Murray leaving the house with the woman who was believed to be his prisoner, KCRA reported.
SWAT officers approached the pair at the intersection of Vine and Madison Streets and attempted to rescue the woman.
But when Murray saw the police approaching, he put the woman in front of him and held a gun to her, KCRA reported.
“The scenario my staff faced is like what you see in the movies, arm around a person and gun to head,” Sheriff Dirkse explained.
Deputies opened fire, fatally shooting Murray and freeing his hostage, KCRA reported.
After the incident, police determined that Murray’s gun was a replica weapon.
The victim told police she didn’t know the gun wasn’t real, KCRA reported.
Modesto police are investigating the deputy-involved shooting.
The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office was also investigating, which is protocol for all officer-involved shootings, KCRA reported.
The sheriff said he planned to release bodycam videos of these sorts of incidents going forward.
“The public wants more transparency and we know that,” Sheriff Dirkse said.
Watch deputies rescue the hostage in the video below. WARNING - Graphic Content