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Pleasant Hill suspect who shot at police during standoff in custody

Pleasant Hill top cop under fire following multi-day armed standoff
Pleasant Hill top cop under fire following multi-day armed standoff 03:56

PLEASANT HILL -- A Pleasant Hill suspect who shot at police during the third straight day of a standoff was arrested Saturday morning.

The suspect barricaded himself inside his residence after allegedly shooting his wife Thursday night. Police identified him as 40-year-old Chunliam Saechao and is allegedly a retired detective from the Pittsburg police department.

UPDATE: Pleasant Hill police chief chided over handling of armed standoff

Police said he shot at an armored police vehicle that was parked in front of his home at around 5 a.m. No one was injured. 

Around 8:40 a.m., police said he was taken into custody and the shelter-in-place order for the Sherman Acres neighborhood was lifted.

Past midnight, the police said a felony warrant for his arrest was obtained after he was determined to be a danger to the public.

Saechao is accused of shooting his wife Thursday as she tried to enter their residence. The wife suffered injuries and has been released from the hospital.

Police said that, during a pause in their activity against Saechao from early Friday morning, he posted messages on social media indicating he might be suicidal.


It was very quiet in front of the suspect's home for hours Friday but, across Monument Boulevard at a nearby shopping center, officers and SWAT teams from several agencies set up their operations.

The big question for many in the neighborhood late Friday night was: Why did officers walk away from the suspect's home in the predawn hours on Friday?

According to a social media post from the Pleasant Hill police department, officers wanted a cooling-off period and did not believe the suspect was a danger to the community.

The neighbors weren't very comfortable with officers walking away.

"Are you sure he's still there in the house? That makes me scary. While I'm walking, how can they let him live inside? The person -- they bring it out, he can shoot anybody," Siva Vuyyurn, who lives nearby, told KPIX.


At about 7 p.m. Thursday, officers were sent to a home in the 200 block of Cleopatra Drive, where they found a woman who had been shot through a locked garage door while she was trying to get into her house, according to Pleasant Hill police.

She was allegedly shot by her husband, who police said fired a single shot from a shotgun.

She was treated at a hospital for injuries that aren't considered life-threatening and was later released.

The woman's husband, who has not been identified, stayed in the house while SWAT team members secured the area, according to police. 

For several hours afterward, he allegedly refused to communicate with crisis negotiators who tried to contact him via telephone and loudspeaker, police said in a news release Friday.

At about 2 a.m., the SWAT team "disengaged from the scene and the husband was left alone" inside the house, police said.

"The case is still active, it doesn't mean he won't be arrested. We're monitoring the area," said Pleasant Hill Police Lt. Jason Kleven.

Kleven said officers left the immediate area in order to initiate "a little cooling-off period."

"With us there at his house, it makes tensions run a little bit higher," Kleven said. "We're not giving up the case or anything like that."

During the Thursday night standoff, several streets around the home were closed to traffic and neighbors were asked to evacuate or shelter in place. 

After the SWAT team left, the surrounding streets were reopened, neighbors were allowed back into their homes and officers continued to reach out to the man, Kleven said. 

"There's nothing we've seen that indicates there's a danger to people there," he said. 

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