Sacramento hostage standoff ends in man's death

SACRAMENTO — The 56-hour Arden Way standoff ended Friday night after Sacramento County sheriff's deputies fatally shot Anthony Alvarez and rescued a 16-month-old boy who had been held in an apartment.

Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness said his officers breached a wall from outside and got a good visual of the suspect, who was close to the boy. No officers were shot. One sustained a cut to his leg, he said.

A SWAT team member wearing fatigues carried the toddler from the Arden Towne apartments about 7:15 p.m. McGinness said the boy was unhurt.

A television cameraman heard officers on the police scanner say, "suspect's dead" and said it out loud.

Tessa Alvarez, the suspect's sister, was standing nearby and collapsed into her husband's arms crying. They immediately left the scene in their car.

McGinness described the operation as successful and said that he gave the green light for his officers to use deadly force if that would safely rescue the child.

"That window of opportunity presented itself," the sheriff said in a news conference after the child's appearance.

After the standoff, Arden Towne residents looked forward to returning to their apartments.

"I'm just glad it's over so we can start our lives again," said Helen Allen. "All of us have been uprooted. I'm going to take a long shower."

Residents may have to wait until this morning to go home as part of the complex remains closed off as part of the criminal investigation.

According to a relative, Alvarez is schizophrenic and bipolar and had not been taking his medications.

Deputies and Sacramento police had shot at Alvarez several times over the three days of the standoff. Alvarez had fired at officers several times.