Murder suspect’s six-hour SWAT stand-off

Posted on January 22, 2021 by Sonoma Valley Sun

A tense stand-off between police and a murder suspect ended Tuesday morning with the arrest of Lloban Martinez Soto, 38, in El Verano.

The Santa Rosa man is suspected of a fatal shooting in Petaluma that afternoon, then fleeing to Sonoma Valley. Dead of multiple gunshot wounds is Jesus Mendez, 34, of  Santa Rosa.

A witness at the scene saw a red car fleeing after the Petaluma shooting. Reacting to a “be on the lookout” call, a deputy spotted a car matching the description. The vehicle was ultimately found abandoned in the 19000 block of Bay Street. Soto was tracked to an occupied house in the 700 block of Center Street.

Investigators did not disclose whether Soto knew the occupants, all of whom came out of the home after it was surrounded by the Sheriff’s Office SWAT and Hostage Negotiations Team. Tear gas was deployed to dislodge the barricaded Soto, who surrendered after the six-hour standoff.

Soto is in the County jail on a no-bail charge of murder. 


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