Man wanted for alleged real estate fraud in Sacramento dies in police standoff in Washington

blindelof@sacbee.comMarch 29, 2013 

A man who died in a standoff with police in Washington state was wanted in Sacramento for alleged real estate fraud.

The two-day police standoff at a home in the small town of Hoquiam, along Washington's coast, ended Thursday morning when the man was shot and killed.

The house where he had been holed up erupted in fire.

The man, whose name was not released by authorities in Washington, had allegedly shot an officer on Wednesday when police went to arrest him on a warrant from Sacramento.

The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office released a 2004 warrant charging Nina and Rick Marlowe of Sacramento with filing a false or forged instrument, theft by false pretenses and identity theft.

The couple were suspected of forging the name of a woman who co-owned a piece of property in order for the pair to sell the real estate.

"That warrant had been active and in the system for a little over eight years," said Michael Blazina, who supervises the Sacramento County district attorney's real estate fraud unit. "Through investigation we found a possible address in Washington, in Hoquiam. Contact was made with the authorities there."

Blazina said authorities went to the address on Tuesday. The woman was arrested on the warrant, but the man showed a fake identification.

"They didn't have enough information at that time but further investigation was done and we believed that the male at the house was in fact the male wanted out of Sacramento," Blazina said.

Hoquiam police returned to the home Wednesday to arrest the 49-year-old man. That is when he allegedly shot an officer.

Police Sgt. Jeff Salstrom was hit in the hip, but the bullet was slowed by his duty belt, said Hoquiam police Sgt. Brian Dayton. Salstrom was treated at a hospital for a minor wound and released.

Officers returned fire and the man retreated into the two-story house, where he holed up on the top floor.

The man yelled back and forth with officers, who remained on the first floor, and he told them he was wounded, Dayton said.

Communications broke off in the early evening after the man damaged a police robot that was sent into the home, and the officers went outside.

"The situation became unsafe, and they backed out and started using a public address system," Dayton said.

Throughout the night, police fired tear gas into the house and used some loud distraction devices.

About 6 a.m., flames were reported at the back of the house and the man came out the front.

"He was confronted by the tactical team," Dayton said. "He failed to obey commands – show me your hands, put the gun down. Some more gunfire was exchanged, and the suspect went down."

The armed man had a gas mask and a ballistic helmet, indicating he had prepared for a confrontation, Dayton said.

The question is why.

"We have no idea what made the guy take it to such an extreme level," Dayton said. "No reason as to why it escalated."

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079. Follow him on Twitter @Lindelofnews.

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