Update: Police arrest man after lengthy Kennewick standoff (w/video)

Tri-City HeraldJuly 11, 2014 

— A Pasco man who allegedly threatened a woman with a gun and barricaded himself inside a Kennewick apartment was arrested Friday after a seven-hour standoff with authorities.

The Tri-City Regional SWAT Team entered the apartment in the 1800 block of 21st Avenue and arrested Jorge Garcia Jr., 33, said Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin.

Authorities decided go in after shooting tear gas canisters through windows in the apartment for hours and using a robot to track Garcia's movements.

Garcia was taken to Trios Health after he was led to a police car in handcuffs. He will be booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of first-degree assault once he is medically cleared.

Police were called to the apartment at 7:15 a.m. after a 40-year-old woman, who also lives at the apartment, reported Garcia pointed a gun at her head, Lattin said. The woman escaped from the home in her underwear when officers arrived.

However, another 24-year-old woman was held against her will inside the apartment while Garcia used couches, a bed and a refrigerator to barricade the pair in, Lattin said. The SWAT team was called and authorities blocked off a portion of 21st Avenue near Rainier Street.

The younger woman was able to get out of the apartment after a few hours and Garcia remained inside, Lattin said.

He communicated some with police, at times saying he would come out, but he remained in the apartment despite the tear gas, Lattin said. Authorities settled in front of the apartment with their weapons drawn for hours as residents and neighbors looked on.

About 2 p.m., SWAT team members pulled an armored vehicle close to the apartment and climbed onto a balcony near a sliding door, Lattin said. They entered the apartment and arrested Garcia without incident.

The standoff was one of the longest the team has been involved in and the key to resolving the situation peacefully was patience, Lattin said.

"They did an excellent job of containing the situation using their tactics," he said shortly after Garcia was arrested.

Residents of the complex were forced from their homes and had to wait in the heat for hours.

The Kvamme family lives below the apartment where the standoff occurred and they were shuttled from the scene in an armored vehicle, they said.

Chris and Nico Kvamme told the Herald they woke up to tear gas being fired and were confused about what was going on.

"I heard like four, five loud bangs. I thought it was a dream for a second," Chris said. "Then my Dad came in and said the SWAT team was here."

Some in the Kvamme family have had problems with Garcia before, including a recent incident in which he flashed a gun during a dispute over loud music, they said. They told the Herald that Garcia started staying at the complex about a month ago.

"We aren't surprised by this at all," Nico said.

Other neighbors said they have been suspicious that the second-floor apartment where the standoff took place is a drug house, they said.

"There are always people coming and going from there," said a woman who asked not to be identified.

Police plan to get a warrant and search the home to look for possible drugs and weapons, Lattin said.

-- Tyler Richardson: 509-582-1556; trichardson@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @Ty_richardson

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service