17 hour standoff ends as murder suspect arrested

A seventeen-hour standoff at a residence in Galt ended earlier this morning when a man suspected of fatally shooting a Sacramento County Animal Control officer was taken into custody. Joseph Corey, 65, was arrested at approximately 5:00 a.m. in the 600 block of 1st street. He is expected to be booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail later today on a charge of murder.

At approximately 12:00 p.m. on November 28, 2012, a Sacramento County Animal Control officer arrived at the residence on 1st Street, along with a bank employee, pursuant to an eviction that had occurred the previous day. The intention was for that officer to take custody of some animals that were left behind by the evicted resident, who had been identified as Corey. Due to the eviction the day prior, no inhabitants were believed to have been at the residence, as Corey was the lone resident of the home.

Upon arriving at the front door of the residence, the animal control officer and bank employee were met with a shotgun blast that came through the closed door. The officer was struck in the upper body, and fell to the ground. The bank employee suffered a superficial wound to his face, but was able to flee from the residence. He solicited the assistance of a Galt Police Department volunteer, who was nearby and summoned the response of Galt police officers.

Officers descended upon the residence, and retrieved the fallen officer from outside of the home. He was transported around the corner to a nearby church, where emergency medical personnel attempted life-saving measures. The officer succumbed to his injuries, and was pronounced deceased at the scene. Officers set up perimeter containment around the suspect’s residence, as other agencies rushed to the scene.

Dozens of officers from the Galt Police Department, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Sacramento Police Department and Elk Grove Police Department responded, including patrol personnel, K9 units, SWAT teams, CSI and negotiators. A command post was established at a nearby church.

Over the next several hours, repeated attempts were made to contact Corey, believed to be the suspect, by telephone. At approximately 5:00 p.m., negotiators established their first contact with the suspect, who was confirmed to be still inside the residence. Meanwhile, residents from over a dozen homes in close proximity to the suspect’s residence were evacuated and moved to a safe location. After two fairly brief conversations with the suspect, negotiators were then unable to re-establish contact with him for several hours. The suspect refused attempts to contact him by phone, and did not respond to multiple PA announcements made repeatedly from officers outside the residence.

As the evening progressed, a unified SWAT team from the Elk Grove and Galt Police Departments assumed primary tactical command of the incident. They worked closely with Elk Grove Police Department negotiators, in an attempt to convince the suspect to surrender peacefully. At approximately 10:30 p.m., tear gas canisters were deployed into the residence; however, the suspect remained inside. Later in the evening, contact with the suspect was re-established, although the situation remained unresolved throughout the early morning hours.

At approximately 5:00 a.m., the suspect moved from the primary living area of the home toward the garage area on the ground floor. Unbeknownst to him, a contact team of officers had entered that area and were waiting for him. As the suspect arrived in the garage area, officers deployed a Taser device, at which time the suspect attempted to retreat back into the living quarters. Officers caught him and took him into custody, without injury to the suspect or themselves. The suspect was to be evaluated by medical personnel for precautionary purposes and to ensure that he is deemed medically fit for incarceration.

Sheriff’s Homicide detectives responded to the scene and will conduct the investigation into the fatal shooting. Anyone having information pertinent to this incident is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (916) 874-5115.

The identity of the victim in this case will be released by the Sacramento County Coroner’s office, once proper notification to next of kin has been made. A booking photograph of the suspect will be released when it becomes available.