Suspect in shooting of 2 Fremont officers ID'd, gun recovered at scene

- The suspect who died after a standoff with Fremont Police has been identified as Gerald Villabrille Jr. of San Jose. Two other suspects were arrested in connection with this case. 

Authorities say Villabrille, 44, goes by the name of Marcus. Police say he does have a criminal history, but did not elaborate. 

Villabrille was barricaded inside a home in Fremont for hours after allegedly shooting and injuring two officers on Wednesday afternoon. He later died, police said Thursday morning.

Villabrille's cause of death has not been released, but the home on Roberts Avenue near Washington Boulevard caught fire early Thursday morning after authorities used tear gas inside the home to try to get the suspect to come out, Fremont police and Alameda County sheriff's officials said.

Fremont Police Chief Lucero said at one point Villabrille called 911 from inside the home and made contact with the department.

Officers tried to negotiate with the suspect but police said those talks were “unproductive.” At one point Villabrille told officers he had another victim inside the residence with him. Chief Lucero says field personnel concluded that he was lying about having someone else in the home with him.

"He was lying about having another person in the residence. As part of trying to bolster his account he fired a shot inside the residence," said Lucero.

Police, believing his claims to be false, pumped more gas into the residence. Officers tried to remove the suspect from the home but were unable to do so. The officers at the scene determined he was dead and found a gun they believe was used in the attacks. A dog inside the home was killed during the blaze. 

It’s believed the tear gas sparked the fire. Police say they have reason to believe Villabrille was injured in the gun battle with police Wednesday. The official cause of his death has not been released. 

Police say Villabrille was not connected to the home, and the homeowners were contacted.

The incident began at 1:33 p.m. Wednesday with a traffic stop on Fremont Boulevard near Washington Boulevard.

After the suspect vehicle pulled over, the driver backed into a patrol car and there was an exchange of gunfire, Fremont police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said. The first officer was injured in the exchange.

The driver pulled forward again and one or more suspects ran from the traffic stop. A man and woman who were in the vehicle with Villabrille were later arrested. Police started searching the area and found a suspect about 10 minutes later in the 1300 block of Roberts Avenue. Gunfire was exchanged again and a detective was injured.

Both officers were taken to a hospital and one was out of surgery Wednesday night but remained in critical condition, while the detective is in stable condition, Bosques said. Their names are not being released. Police say one of the officers is a rookie with one year of experience, while the other is a 10 year veteran. 

 

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