Police Thursday night charged into a store where members of an Asian youth gang held more than 30 hostages, ending an 8 1/2-hour standoff with a 30-second shootout that left six people dead and 14 wounded.
Three hostages and three of the four gang members were killed in the burst of gunfire that ensued after deputies blasted the door off The Good Guys electronics store in a local shopping mall, said Sheriff Glen Craig.The gunmen, who held hostages for 8 1/2 hours on Thursday, had demanded safe passage to Thailand.
One gunman "walked systematically down the line shooting hostages" as the officers opened fire, Craig said. He was among the three killed, he said.
Thirteen hostages and the fourth gunman were wounded.
Craig said police decided to rush the store at 10 p.m. after the gunmen shot and wounded two hostages, including one whose shooting was broadcast live by local television stations.
"We didn't think we had the luxury to wait any longer," he said. "We couldn't sit here all night and let them shoot people one at a time."
The wounded were hospitalized Friday. Their conditions were not available, but officers said one hostage suffered critical head wounds and that the surviving gunman was in serious condition.
A partial list of the wounded was released. They include Quinland Schluter, 72, of Sacramento; Alan Story, 37, of Vacaville; David Seigler, 27, of Carmichael; Adina Mendivil, 21, of Roseville; and Ngu Lo, 27, of Sacramento.
It was not immediately known how many people escaped unharmed, but authorities said 30 to 35 people were taken hostage and eight people were freed before the police raid. At least one person was able to flee as the gunmen entered the store."I'm very relieved to be out of there," said store employee Matt Dennis, 20.
The eight hostages who had been released earlier included a man, two women and five children.
A ninth hostage, Sean McIntyre of Sacramento, was shot in the leg and allowed to hobble to safety about an hour before the police raid. Television cameras videotaped the scene through the glass storefront; the shooting was broadcast live.
About an hour after McIntyre hobbled out of the store with a list of demands from the gunmen, a second person was shot in the leg.
Five minutes later, deputies fired a concussion grenade through the door and opened fire.
As the glass shattered, a young woman, her hands tied behind her back, cowered near the storefront seeking shelter, then scrambled away safely, trailing her rope behind her.
The assault came amid a confusion of screams, gunfire and explosions, with hostages attempting to flee the shattered store and law enforcement officers on the attack.
The hostages were lying on the floor, many bound with rope, when the assault began. The attack was two-pronged, with seven deputies who had entered undetected from the back of the store firing inside while others stormed the building from outside.
The deputies were armed with assault rifles and other weapons. Authorities said the gang members carried handguns and long-barreled weapons.
The bloody end to the 8 1/2-hour siege left investigators with few clues to the motive of the gunmen, who were identified as members of the "Oriental Boys" youth gang.