By Robert Davila
A standoff between Sacramento County sheriff's deputies and a gunman barricaded in a Florin area apartment ended late last night with the arrest of a suspect.
William Hearn, 29, was arrested around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and booked into the Sacramento County main jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and an active felony warrant, officials said in a written statement.
Hearn was arrested at the Meridian Apartments after holding officers at bay for eight hours in a standoff that forced the evacuation of residents in the large complex at 7475 Stockton Blvd. A teenage girl who was with him in the apartement during the standoff was not injured.
Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos said deputies went to an apartment at the Meridian at about 3:30 p.m. to serve a felony arrest warrant for Hearn. As officers entered the apartment and tried to identify several people inside, Hearn came out of a rear bedroom and pointed a shotgun at the deputies. When Hearn refused to comply with orders to drop the weapon, a deputy fired one round from his duty weapon at Hearn before officers began retreating from the apartment, Ramos said. As deputies backed away, Hearn fired two shotgun rounds at them but did not hit the officers, Ramos said.
Five people left the apartment after ordered by deputies to come out. Hearn remained inside, along with a teenage girl believed to be his daughter or stepdaughter, Ramos said.
Deputies set up a perimeter around the building that included officers from the sheriff's SWAT and negotiations units. Nearby residents were evacuated from the apartments and sheltered in a nearby church school.
Negotiators remained in telephone contact with Hearn during the afternoon and evening and provided him with food he requested around 8:30 p.m., Ramos said.
Around 11 p.m., as Sacramento Metro firefighters fired a water cannon to knock out windows of the apartment where Hearn and the juvenile female were barricaded, Hearn fired his shotgun toward the officers outside, Ramos said. About 15 minutes later, he fired another shotgun round toward the deputies, who were not hit.
At about 1:25 a.m., Hearn fired a third shotgun round from the apartment at officers, Ramos said. In an effort to get Hearn and the female subject to exit the apartment, SWAT officers deployed tear gas into the apartment through open windows. A minute later, the teenage girl came out of the front door and immediately surrendered to deputies, who took her safely away from the apartment, the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Hearn dropped the shotgun in front of the doorway and walked in and out of the front door several times as deputies ordered him to throw the shotgun off of the balcony, Ramos said. After some initial hesitation, Hearn complied and was immediately taken into custody. He was not injured, Ramos said.
The deputy who fired at Hearn is a 14-year veteran, Ramos said. In accordance with department policies and procedures, the deputy will be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the sheriff's homicide bureau and professional standards division, the spokesman said.
PHOTO CAPTION: William Hearn