After a four-hour standoff that included SWAT, snipers, negotiators and surveillance drones, authorities arrested a Turlock man Thursday on suspicion of attempted murder in a March shooting in Oakdale.
About 8:20 a.m., Oakdale police investigators and the Turlock Police Department SWAT team served a search and arrest warrant at the Park Knolls apartment complex on Dels Lane adjacent to Donnelly Park. They sought Jesus Tovar, 37, who barricaded himself in his apartment and was seen climbing into a shared attic space to hide.
Other occupants in the apartment came out, Turlock police spokesman Sgt. Russell Holeman said, and residents within the three other apartments in the building were evacuated. There are several buildings in the apartment complex, so other residents continued to come and go, though police encouraged them to shelter in place.
Dels was blocked to incoming traffic between West Hawkeye Avenue on the south and Pedras Road on the north.
There were reports on social media that shots had been fired. That was not the case, Holeman said. People in the area might have heard a flash-bang explosion; one of those devices was deployed early on.
Oakdale police spent weeks tracking down Tovar, who was wanted in a March 22 shooting at 207 W. North St. in that city, said Police Department spokeswoman Janeen Yates. The victim was shot multiple times but has recovered, she said.
Tovar will be booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on the attempted-murder charge, with bail set at $2 million.
Authorities were in steady contact with Tovar as he hid, Holeman said. Two camera-equipped drone aircraft were launched, presumably to ensure he did not find an escape route.
Early in the noon hour, radio communications indicated Tovar wanted to give himself up. At about 12:20 p.m., he climbed down and was taken into custody.
Anyone with information on the March 22 shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636 and contact Oakdale Police Detective Don Stilwell at 209-847-2231. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.