STANISLAUS COUNTY — An animal control officer killed Wednesday in Galt might not have been saved by studying an eerily similar April shooting that claimed a deputy and locksmith in Modesto.
But that's the general idea behind a long-awaited, detailed report on the Modesto tragedy due out by year's end.
Law agencies up and down California hope to learn from the deaths of deputy Bob Paris and locksmith Glendon Engert, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said, coincidentally, on Wednesday, shortly before the Galt slaying.
Similar to Paris and Engert, the Sacramento County animal control officer was involved in an eviction process. Both turned deadly and led to lengthy standoffs with plenty of media attention and horrified reaction.
All three victims were gunned down outside by shots fired from inside through closed doors. Both standoffs led to SWAT officers trying to flush out the suspects with flash-bang devices.
The April ambush on Chrysler Drive ended in an inferno with distraught occupant Jim Richard Ferrario committing suicide. Wednesday's incident, sparked by the slaying of unarmed 45-year-old animal control officer Roy Curtis Marcum, ended early Thursday as officers rushed in and arrested Joseph Francis Corey, 65.
Christianson in May announced that he would commission critical incident reviews of the Chrysler slayings, plus the Dec. 30 death of sheriff's crime scene technician Mary Donahou. She was struck by a car while investigating a shooting in Hughson.
Stanislaus County supervisors in June approved spending up to $60,000 on the probe, conducted by highly regarded experts formerly serving with Los Angeles and Huntington Beach police. They are Edward Deuel and Richard Wemmer, who run the Peace Officer Safety Institute.
In September, Christianson said the two-part report had been delayed because the California Highway Patrol had not completed an evaluation of the Hughson accident.
That review was finished Oct. 29, said the CHP, while refusing to release it publicly in deference to the Sheriff's Department.
Christianson said follow-up interviews and the gathering of additional information continue to hold up the complete report, which he had hoped to release by now.
"I'm looking forward to getting this wrapped up," he said. "It will help provide closure and healing for the department and it will be enlightening, with a focus on lessons learned."
The county's contract with Deuel and Wemmer requires that they provide PowerPoint presentations and testify in court, if needed, in addition to the written reports that Christianson says he'll release. He made no such promise on sharing the slideshows.
The consultants each are being paid $60 an hour for up to 660 hours, plus $2,000 a day for court testimony, up to $60,000 total. The sheriff said his team is keeping close track; supervisors approved the expense, but it's coming out of the department's budget.
Engert's widow in September filed a claim against the county, saying authorities should have done more to protect the 35-year-old locksmith. He stopped trying to disable the lock on a metal security door when he heard something inside but was ordered to keep drilling, says the claim, which can be a precursor to a lawsuit.
The claim also cites a Bee article quoting an eviction specialist who said he had warned authorities that Ferrario had firearms. Ferrario's body was found surrounded by an arsenal of weapons.
The claim contradicts several earlier statements from Christianson that the men walked into an ambush with no idea danger lurked inside.
Paris, 53, and Engert died at the scene; deputy Mike Glinskas, 51, was not hit and was honored for bravery in August.
Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2390.