MODESTO, Calif. — The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department has released body-camera video of a deadly July hostage situation where deputies shot and killed a man who had a fake gun.
During the incident, deputies were told that a suspect, later identified as Stephen Murray, 52, kidnapped a woman and was holding her at gunpoint. Officials told ABC10 in July the woman was being held against her will for more than 24 hours and Murray was wanted on kidnapping charges, weapons violations, and auto theft.
Upon arrival, deputies saw Murray with the alleged victim along the 700 block of Jefferson in West Modesto and followed him about a block to Vine and South Madison Street.
After doing surveillance on Murray for more than two hours, members of the SWAT team saw a chance to execute a rescue operation. Sheriff Jeff Dirkse said Murray placed the woman between him and deputies while holding what appeared to be a handgun. Deputies would ultimately fire off their weapons, killing Murray.
The sheriff's department would later learn that the handgun Murray appeared to be holding was fake.
“This detail was unknown to the victim, the 911 caller, and our deputies as they arrived on scene,” said Sheriff Jeff Dirkse in a video statement.
According to the sheriff's department, Murray had also been threatening law enforcement and the hostage. The whole incident happened quickly, ending in seconds.
The hostage was said to have been traumatized, but not injured.