PETALUMA (CBS SF) – A man who was shot by Petaluma police officers during a two-hour standoff Tuesday afternoon died in a hospital shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s officials identified him as 24-year-old Luis Alberto Garcia-Vara, of San Rafael.

The sheriff’s office, Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety and the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office are investigating the officer-involved shooting.

Petaluma police responded around noon Tuesday to a domestic dispute in the 100 block of Lakeville Circle, Petaluma police Lt. Tim Lyons said.

The reporting party said the man was making suicidal threats and was possibly armed with a gun, Lyons said.

Officers tried to negotiate with Garcia-Vara and nearby apartments were evacuated. Garcia-Vara pulled out a firearm and tried to shoot himself in the head. Around 1:50 p.m., Garcia-Vara checked the firearm and appeared to reload it, then pointed it at the officers, Lyons said.

Five Petaluma police officers fired 16 shots at Garcia-Vara, with at least one striking him in the abdomen, according to the sheriff’s office.

Petaluma police detectives interviewed a witness who said Garcia-Vara raised the gun toward the officers, sheriff’s officials said.

The Petaluma Fire Department gave medical assistance and Garcia-Vara was taken to a hospital, Lyons said.

The video of the shooting taken by the five officers’ body-worn cameras is being reviewed as part of the investigation, and an independent forensic pathologist will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death, according to the sheriff’s office.

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Comments (2)
  1. The police are too much in a rush to end this situation…the suspect was demonstrating strange behavior, talking about suicide for more than 2 hours. where was the negotiation unit…why did 5 cops fire 16 rounds into the suspect…the police created this suicide by cop situation because they presented a ultra violent presence and did nothing to diffuse the enviroment. shoot first and then ask questions. THIS HAS TO STOP….too many of our citizens are being killed by those supposed to protect the peace and serve the citizenry. why weren’t less lethal means used…why not rubber bullets, why not bean bag missles, why not tazing and finally why not shoot to wound and disable the suspect? 16 rounds fired at close range….POLICE OVERKILL….maybe to many war vets are taking up the law enforcement roles and employing an attitude of shoot if the officer feels threatened….that is the job….PROTECT THE PUBLIC not the guy next to you with a lethal weapon to protect themselves….please, shoot to wound not to blow up the suspect
    we need a less violent society, starting from the top. If police are not versed in shooting, then don’t give them a gun…make sure they can hit the target with each shot taken and maybe we will have a society that is more peaceful and not afraid of their neighbors and those paid to protect them…get rid of the 3 shot burst and fire to incapacitate the subject, not kill with overwhelming
    firepower we are not at war in the streets of America. Let’s make it so.