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Suspected shooter caught in S.W.A.T. standoff
Manuel Maldonado Jr 19 yrs
Manuel Maldonado

The suspected gunman who wounded two people outside a Turlock home was apprehended early Monday morning after the Turlock Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics team used tear gas to flush him from his hideout.

Manuel Maldonado, 19, of Turlock was taken into custody around 5:30 a.m. after a standoff with S.W.A.T. that lasted almost six hours.

Maldonado was previously identified as the prime suspect in a shooting that occurred Oct. 22 in the 600 block of Chestnut Street and wounded a 26-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy. Both victims were wounded in their lower extremities and are recovering from their injuries.

Investigators had been seeking the whereabouts of Maldonado since the shooting. Shortly after midnight Monday investigators developed a credible lead that Maldonado was hiding out in a garage at a home in the 500 block of Vermont Avenue, according to police spokesman Lt. Nino Amirfar.

Because Maldonado was considered armed and dangerous, the police department deployed their critical response team, which consists of hostage negotiators and S.W.A.T. personnel, Amirfar said.

The police surrounded the house and ordered Maldonado to surrender himself, but the suspect refused, Amirfar said.

The residents of the home and those from neighboring houses were escorted out of their homes as the standoff began. For several hours negotiators attempted to persuade Maldonado to come out peacefully, but it was to no avail.

Negotiators tried to speak with Maldonado via a mobile phone tossed into the garage and through loudspeakers, but Maldonado rebuffed all their efforts.

Around 5:30 a.m. the S.W.A.T. team deployed tear gas into the garage, forcing Maldonado to flee, at which point he was taken into custody.

Maldonado was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on attempted murder charges.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.