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ICE Raid goes bad north of San Francisco

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Filed: Timeline
Updated: Three federal agents shot while serving search warrants in Petaluma

Three Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents suffered injuries while serving warrants in Petaluma on Thursday, federal officials said.

ICE released few details about the incident, but said the agents were serving the warrants as part of an ongoing criminal investigation, and that a suspect was in custody. The agents were taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Witnesses reported hearing gunshots around 4 a.m. Bob Everhart, manager of the nearby Best Western Hotel, told the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa he heard multiple gunshots and yelling and then a second round of gunfire.

He was told to go back into the hotel when he went out to investigate.

"The neighborhood was on lockdown at that point," he said.

A police officer told Everhart around 6 a.m. that he could allow guests to leave their rooms for breakfast.

News footage showed dozens of officers — some in SWAT gear — swarming the area early Thursday.

ICE has not identified the suspect who was taken into custody or released additional information about the circumstances surrounding the incident.


Edited by ☼

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Filed: Timeline
Kice said the agents were serving “high-risk” warrants on the home, located at 1325 McNeil Ave., across South McDowell Boulevard from the Washington Square Shopping Center.

The operation was part of an ongoing criminal investigation that involved raids at multiple locations, according to an ICE official.

An unidentified man, a woman and two children under the age of 12 lived in the house, said Joseph Sullivan, who lives in the neighborhood.

“To be honest, I thought they were selling weed out of the house, but obviously something more crazy was going on,” Sullivan said.

The manager at the Best Western Hotel, Bob Everhart, said he was awakened by loud bangs around 4 a.m. that he speculated might have been concussion grenades and then heard multiple gunshots and yelling.

It went quiet for about a half hour before another round of shooting ensued, he said.

Medical personnel were dispatched to the home at 4:10 a.m., emergency dispatchers said.

Three ICE agents were transported to area hospitals — two by ground ambulance and one by helicopter, emergency dispatchers said. None of the agents' injuries were life-threatening, Kice said.

Additional ambulances were standing by in the event other people needed medical treatment.

Caroline Uland, lives on McNiel Avenue, was awakened by the sound of an explosion. Residents were concerned that a criminal was on the loose, with helicopters overhead for several hours.

“It was kind of frightening,” she said.

Many of the guests at the Best Western Hotel also were awakened, but when Everhart went outside to try to determine what had happened he encountered a very tense scene with large numbers of law enforcement, including Homeland Security agents.

Everhart was told to go back into the hotel, “and it was pretty much the neighborhood was on lockdown at that point.”

Hotel management told guests to remain in their rooms, though “the helicopter landed right in front of the hotel, so that if they weren't awakened by the earlier gunshots, they were awakened by that,” he said.

A police officer told him around 6 a.m. that he could allow guests to leave their rooms for breakfast.

Petaluma Police said they will not be releasing any more information about the incident.

They said they are not aware of any continuing, immediate threat to the people in the area despite a helicopter connected to the operation that many civilians have seen overhead.


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Filed: Timeline
The raid was part of an investigation into a 2010 triple homicide in South San Francisco, the San Jose Mercury News reported, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the operation.

Up to 200 agents were involved in raids on at least 12 locations, the Mercury News reported. They were targeting gang members suspected of shooting three rivals in South San Francisco on Dec. 22, 2010, as well as those who helped obstruct the police investigation, the source told the Mercury News.

While the 18-month investigation began in response to the killings, it grew to include gangs, guns and drugs, the source told the Mercury News. Police were bracing for a gang backlash in the wake of the raids and planned extra patrols following the sweep.


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Another good reason for ICE to shoot first and ask questions later.


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i can tell you that people who want to join a gang would have to kill a officer first.

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