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Former East Bay cop in court after firing at officers during standoff

A former East Bay police officer accused of shooting his wife and trying to kill other officers during a standoff in Pleasant Hill was scheduled to go before a judge Thursday.

Chunliam Nai Saechao, 40, is being held without bail at the Martinez Detention Facility. He has been charged with nine felony counts, including attempted murder of peace officers, assault with a firearm and injuring a spouse.

The former Pittsburg police officer barricaded himself in his home at 227 Cleopatra Drive last Thursday after shooting his wife with a shotgun through a door as she tried entering the home around 7:30 p.m.

During the protracted standoff with police, Saechao shot at officers who were in the process of evacuating residents from nearby homes. Bullets also struck a police vehicle, which had two officers inside.

No police were injured. Saechao’s wife was taken to a hospital to be treated and was later released.

The Sherman Acres neighborhood was given a shelter-in-place order that wasn’t lifted until Friday morning, after the county SWAT team and hostage negotiators were sent home for a “cooling-off” period, police said.

The shelter-in-place was reinstated around 5:30 p.m. Friday. Police also closed Monument Boulevard at Interstate 680, as well as Marcia Drive, in both directions, causing traffic to back up in the freeway.

Early Saturday morning, Saechao fired several shots from a rifle and shotgun at police armored vehicles. He finally surrendered to police at 7:52 a.m. Saturday and the shelter-in-place was lifted at 9:24 a.m. Police speculated Saechao had a mental health crisis.

The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday that Saechao has been charged with two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, one count of injuring a spouse, and six counts of assault with a firearm on a peace officer or firefighter. The charges also come with enhancements for discharging or using a firearm in the offenses.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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