Firefighters are getting water on the fire now. pic.twitter.com/OrG3PH0eTQ— Fremont Fire Dept. (@FremontFire) June 2, 2016
This morning brought to a close a citywide hunt for the suspect in yesterday's shooting of two Fremont police officers. According to the Chronicle, the man believed to be responsible was discovered dead inside a burning home around 8 a.m. Thursday after a standoff with police that lasted through the night.
“We do have a deceased suspect in the house and we believe he is our suspect,” Fremont police spokesperson Geneva Bosques told the paper. At this time it is unclear if the suspect died as a result of the fire, or from gunfire exchanged with police.
The suspect, who police described as a "Hispanic male adult, approx. 6' wearing [SF Giants] shirt/shorts," was reportedly pulled over just after 1:30 p.m. for driving a pickup truck without front plates. When the Fremont Police officer attempted to make the traffic stop, the driver is believed to have reversed the truck into the police vehicle and then opened fire. The police officer, who NBC reports has been with the department for one year, was struck and is reported to be in critical condition.
The suspect then fled on foot, and roughly ten minutes later was found by a group of officers. Shots were once again fired, and another officer was struck. The second officer has been with the force for ten years, and is reportedly in stable condition.
A manhunt was then conducted, with hundreds of officers from multiple agencies including the FBI searching the city. They eventually tracked the suspect to a home, which is reportedly not his, and tried to negotiate him out. The Chronicle reports that around 2 a.m. tear gas was shot into the house, and it was shortly thereafter that the house caught fire. NBC, on the other hand, reports that the fire began roughly at 7:20 a.m. Either way, Fremont firefighters battled the blaze from a distance and eventually got it under control.
Neither the name of the suspect, nor a possible motive for attacking the officers, has been released. The names of the two injured officers have also not yet been released.
Update: Police have identified the suspect as 44-year-old Gerald Villabrille Jr. of San Jose. KRON4 reports that he was discovered, deceased, inside a closet at roughly 8:15 a.m. There is no believed connection between the suspect and the home owners, who were reportedly not home at the time of the incident.