A man fleeing police in Northern California took two hostages at a public park, killing one of them before surrendering, after earlier wounding a California Highway Patrol officer, authorities said.
It happened Thursday in Roseville, a city of about 150,000 northeast of Sacramento, in the early afternoon as families played at nearby baseball fields and children attended camp.
The California Highway Patrol officer was in stable condition at a hospital. The names of the two adults taken hostage, including the one who died, were not immediately released.
The surviving hostage was taken to a hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries, according to a statement from the city of Roseville, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Sacramento.
The suspect, who also was not immediately named, was hospitalized with gunshot wounds but there was no immediate word on his condition, the city statement said.
It was unclear how he was wounded. Police didn’t immediately indicate whether officers had fired any shots.
The events unfolded when highway patrol officers attempted to serve the man a warrant, prompting him to shoot at and wound an officer. The Roseville Police Department received a radio call around 12:30 p.m. alerting them an officer had been shot, Capt. Kelby Newton said.
When Roseville police arrived, the suspect was seen carrying a gun and running. He then grabbed two civilians in the park and held them hostage, shooting both, Newton said.
Newton said he did not know what prompted the warrant.
Victor Michael was at batting practice with his child at Mahany Park when he saw what he thought was kids playing paintball. But then he heard police tell someone to stop and “get down.” Then, gunfire.
“I can’t tell you who shot first, I just know that I saw a suspect look back and the volley of fire just went off. It was crazy,” Michael said. “I just told my kid and everybody to get down.”
Michael heard between 20 and 30 gunshots in all and took refuge with his child behind the tires of his truck, he said.
The sprawling park tucked into a quiet suburb of Sacramento includes a sports complex, public library, aquatics center and nature trails. The fitness center and library were temporarily locked down, and students attending camps were taken to a nearby school to be reunited with their families.