FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23rd, 2024
Subject: Hostage Situation/Officer Involved Shooting at 1400 Block of Union Street
On January 22, 2024 at approximately 05:46 a.m., the Eureka Police Department responded to a report of a male juvenile that had suffered a significant laceration to his neck needing immediate medical attention. The juvenile reported he had been assaulted by an adult male family member. Officers located the juvenile and he was transported to a local medical facility for treatment of severe but not life-threatening wounds. The juvenile told officers the assault occurred at a residence in the 1400 block of Union Street in Eureka, and that there were additional occupants and juveniles in the home who had been threatened and were in danger. Officers entered the residence and began checking for additional occupants and victims. While in the residence, officers learned the male suspect had moved the rest of the occupants into a second-story bedroom where he had barricaded himself and was holding them hostage. The officers on scene began requesting additional resources and attempted to negotiate with the suspect.
At approximately 7:41 a.m., the Eureka Police Department issued a shelter in place notification that was sent out to local residences and businesses immediately adjacent to the incident location.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team as well as the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) were requested and responded to the scene. Throughout the day negotiations continued until all four hostages were safely released at approximately 1:00 p.m. There was one adult female and three male juveniles, ranging in ages from 4-12 years old, removed from the residence. One of the juveniles had a large laceration to the side of his neck caused by the male suspect. All the juveniles were transported to a local medical facility and evaluated. The male juvenile with the significant laceration to his neck received treatment for his injury which was non-life threatening. The juveniles were then released into the custody of Child Welfare Services.
CNT continued to negotiate with the male suspect, who was non-compliant and refused to surrender and exit the room, for four more hours. Detectives with EPD had obtained a Ramey Warrant for the suspect’s arrest for the felony assault on the first male juvenile. At approximately 4:58 p.m., contact with the suspect was made, and an officer involved shooting (OIS) occurred. The male suspect was struck by gunfire. City Ambulance and Humboldt Bay Fire, who had been staged on scene, responded directly to the residence. Immediate life-saving measures were employed by members of the SWAT team and medical personnel. The suspect was transported to a local medical facility where he succumbed to his injuries.
The suspect has been identified as Daniel Martinez, 43 years old of Eureka.
Two members of the Humboldt County SWAT team have been identified as having fired their firearms during the OIS. Both are deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and have been placed on paid special leave, as is protocol for their agency.
The Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT), led by the Eureka Police Department and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, was activated to investigate this incident. This investigation is ongoing and additional information will be released as it becomes available.
The Eureka Police Department appreciates the partnerships with the agencies that assisted with this incident: Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Fortuna Police Department, California Highway Patrol, City Ambulance, Humboldt Bay Fire, Yurok Tribal Police, Humboldt County Child Welfare Services, Yurok Social Services, Humboldt County Behavioral Health and Crisis Alternative Response of Eureka (CARE).
Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact Detective Donald Bailey with the Eureka Police Department Criminal Investigations Unit at 707-441-4215.
Media Release Prepared by: Brian Stephens, Chief