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Gunman kills deputy, locksmith

Gunman kills deputy, locksmith

POSTED April 13, 2012 9:54 p.m.

A grim reminder about the dangers law enforcement face on a daily basis was served to the Stanislaus County community Thursday when a sheriff's deputy and a locksmith were shot to death while serving an eviction notice in Modesto.
The ambush prompted a 12-hour standoff between law enforcement and the gunman, who barricaded himself inside the apartment.
The standoff came to a fiery end when flames erupted from the apartment. More than 24 hours after the deadly attack was put into motion, investigators pulled the charred remains of the suspected shooter from the rubble of the apartment.
The two victims of the fatal shooting have been identified as 53-year-old Stanislaus County Sheriff Deputy Robert Paris and Glendon Engert, a 35-year-old locksmith from Modesto.
"This is a tragic day for law enforcement and public safety," said Sheriff Adam Christianson. "Deputy Paris paid the ultimate price, sacrificing his life, while protecting and serving the citizens of Stanislaus County. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob's family, the community, our sheriff's family and all the law enforcement personnel from every jurisdiction in the Central Valley who come to our aid today."
The identity of the shooter has not been determined. The remains found Friday afternoon were so badly burned it was impossible for investigators at the scene to determine identity or cause of death, said Modesto Police spokesman Officer Chris Adams.
The Modesto Police Department is handling the investigation.
Shortly around 11 a.m. Thursday Paris and Engert arrived at a fourplex in the Whispering Woods complex at 2141 Chrysler Dr. in Modesto. They were there to serve an eviction notice for one of the residences. According to one witness, Engert was drilling the lock when the gunfire erupted, killing him and Paris. Residents told investigators the gunshots came in rapid fire.
The gunman barricaded himself in the home as law enforcement swarmed the scene. There was a massive response from law enforcement agencies throughout the county, as well as neighboring counties and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations. At least four special weapons and tactics teams surrounded the barricaded suspect.
Residents all around the fourplex were evacuated from their homes and were given temporary shelter by the Red Cross and the Prescott Evangelical Free Church.
Law enforcement tried numerous attempts to make contact with the suspect - all to no avail.
As night fell law enforcement ramped up their efforts to force the suspect's surrender by lobbing tear gas canisters and flash bang devices into the home.
It was around 10 p.m. that flames erupted from the house, lighting up the night sky. Christianson later said it was not uncommon for fires to ignite after the use of tear gas and flash bang devices.
The situation was still too volatile to allow fire fighters to get close to the fourplex. Crews had to take a defensive tact to try and keep the blaze from spreading to the other homes in the complex. The entire fourplex was destroyed by the fire. The Red Cross is assisting the three families displaced by the fire.
There was a concern there might be explosive devices in and/or around the home. Agents with the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency were using canines to search the area Friday.
There were rumors the suspect was blogging during the standoff, which the sheriff said was untrue.
Paris was a 16-year veteran of the sheriff's department who used his skill set to fill numerous positions and duties. At an impromptu news conference at the scene Thursday, Christianson's frustration at the loss of a valued deputy and friend was evident.
"Despite that harsh reality of our economic climate and the drastic budget cuts and staffing cuts I've taken, there's no excuse for this," Christianson said. "I'm overwhelmingly frustrated that we don't have the sufficient resources to protect the community."
Engert is survived by his wife of 13 years.
Paris is survived by his parents, a brother and two adult children. Funeral services are pending.


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