San Andreas, California — The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office released videos regarding the officer-involved shooting and hostage situation that occurred on May 6th, 2021. On May 6, 2021, at about 10:39 PM the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Communication/Dispatch Center received a 911 call regarding a male and female in an argument at the Sierra Inn Motel, San Andreas California. 911 audio where callers told dispatchers that a man had pointed a gun at a woman’s head. One caller from the released audio noted that a little girl was in the room with them. The suspect was ultimately identified as 47-year-old Mark Aitulagi Lavea. Deputies were dispatched to investigate however, Lavea left before their arrival. Deputies initiated a domestic violence investigation and began searching the area for Lavea. A deputy was interviewing the victim in the 500 block of Lewis Ave., San Andreas near the Diamond Place Apartment Complex when Lavea ambushed the deputy and victim. During the ambush, Lavea shot the deputy in the upper body. The deputy was able to get the victim to safety. Additional deputies, California Highway Patrol Officers and the Angels Police Department responded to the scene and began searching the apartment complex for Lavea.
While searching, Lavea emerged from an apartment holding, what appears at this point, to be an uninvolved elderly female hostage with a firearm. The deputies attempted de-escalation tactics and attempted talk Lavea into releasing the hostage. Lavea refused commands and posed an immediate threat to the victim. Shots were fired and Lavea was struck. The hostage was also struck by gunfire. Deputies found the Lavea’s weapon at the scene and booked it into evidence. Deputies administered first aid to Lavea and hostage until fire and emergency medical personnel arrived on scene. Lavea was pronounced dead at the scene. The female hostage was transported by air ambulance to a regional trauma center for further treatment. The original deputy who was struck by gunfire was also transported by air to a regional trauma center for treatment. Both the deputy sheriff who was shot by Lavea and the hostage survived.