SACRAMENTO COUNTY—Hours later there was a surreal feeling on Arden Way; the hostage standoff here had come to a violent and deadly end and many people were still trying to come to grips with how it all happened.
It was just before 7:30 when a series of shots rang out; then what appeared to be return fire. James Scherman ducked for cover with his fiancé in his sons' room directly across the courtyard from the gun battle."Next thing you know there's just a bunch of bullet shots being fired. I've been in there for a while and I know the sound of this gentleman's gun. He fired at least two rounds, I wanna say three.' says Scherman.
"Distraction technique was used, the breach the wall was used. They got inside, he coward for a little while apparently and then he confronted them with gunfire. They shot and he is mortally wounded," says Sheriff John McGinniss.
Moments later 16 month old Michael Pittman Junior emerged from the Arden Towne Apartments in the arms of a SWAT officer decked out in riot gear and camouflage. "Yeah," a nearby crowd erupted as the boy came into view alive and OK.
Scherman, who was trapped in his apartment for portions of three days, emerged with conflicting emotions,"Overwhelming relief for the child and the mother. Joy at fact that the guy, who hid behind a kid, is dead because he's a coward."
C-S-I's are doing a double investigation at the apartment. There's a criminal investigation and the internal sheriff's department probe on the use of deadly force.
Little Michael Pittman was taken to a local hospital for an examination. A sheriff's department spokesman says he's in good condition and has been reunited with his parents.