Man in distress fires shots in Atascadero

December 21, 2015

handgunAn Atascadero man in emotional distress fired shots when police arrived at his home on Sunday. Officers arrested him after an approximately two and a half hour standoff. [KSBY]

Early Sunday morning, Atascadero police responded to the man’s apartment on Santa Ysabel Avenue near Curbaril Avenue after receiving a call saying he was under mental distress. Officers determined the man did not meet the criteria for a psychiatric hold, and they left him in the care of a family member.

Shortly before noon, the man’s girlfriend reported to police that he had a gun.

When officers returned at the home, they heard three shots coming from the man’s apartment. The gunshots did not appear to be directed at officers, according to Atascadero police.

One of the shots hit a car, but no one suffered any injuries.

Officers found the man had barricaded himself in his apartment. Police created a perimeter around the apartment and evacuated people from the neighborhood.

Personnel from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, County Probation Department and Atascadero State Hospital responded to the scene to assist Atascadero police. Officers used an armored vehicle to approach the apartment and negotiate with the suspect.

One detective successfully negotiated with the man, and he surrendered shortly after 2 p.m.

Officers booked the man in San Luis Obispo County Jail, where he was placed on a psychiatric hold. Authorities have yet to release the man’s identity.



  1. indigo1955 says:

    “Officers determined the man did not meet the criteria for a psychiatric hold, and they left him in the care of a family member”.

    It is absurd expecting police officers to be able to assess a patient. Even a Mental Status Exam is difficult for psychologists under such circumstances. Open up an inpatient unit—and do it SOON!!!! It does not take much logic to conclude the public is at much higher risk for harm from psychosis than it is from a lock-down inpatient unit. It is much more unlikely psychosis will be combined with a firearm in a closed inpatient unit!

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  2. tidepool says:

    The 16 bed inpatient unit was probably over census so the PHF could not take him

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
    • mej says:

      Meanwhile, ‘they’ are planning to spend several million on having chat sessions with each other to define the meanings of peer.

      For example, what exactly would be a ‘peer’ for a latino woman? We need to spend a half of a million to discuss and agree upon that.

      The good people of California would never have passed proposition 63 if they knew it was going to be used to like this.

      That money should be spent for more beds and go DIRECTLY to the treatment of people like the man who could get no help.

      shame shame shame

      (6) 16 Total Votes - 11 up - 5 down
      • kettle says:

        So a mental health article and you want to make it about Race and how you are outraged that the county dare help Latino women.

        Go party of trump, party of crazy!


        (-6) 20 Total Votes - 7 up - 13 down
        • mej says:

          Why do you comment on my posts when you don’t have any knowledge? First read prop 63 and then read the county’s proposal to spend prop 63 funds.

          Then read this, which shows how prop 63 funds are being misused

          THEN finally, ponder on how out of touch a certain county BOS is when he talks about supporting Laura’s Law. Our county could be using this 2 million to support Laura’s Law or to create an inpatient rehab for those who are Dual Diagnosed.

          I think the proposal for helping Latina women who are in relationships with domestic violence is a good idea. BUT don’t use money that is designated for the seriously mentally ill.

          (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down
  3. mej says:

    “Officers determined the man did not meet the criteria for a psychiatric hold, and they left him in the care of a family member.”

    County mental health administrators Anne Robin and Jeff Hamm should be paying for this guy’s lawyers. It has been under their command that the local police’s authority is limited in helping the mentally ill.

    This guy should have been taken straight away to the county inpatient when the police were first called.

    Shame shame shame

    (2) 28 Total Votes - 15 up - 13 down
    • joseywales says:

      u sound mentally ill. when they get more power they should come after you.

      (-2) 26 Total Votes - 12 up - 14 down
    • SLO_Johnny says:

      California law limits the power of the police to detain anyone against their will; not the county mental health officials.

      (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
      • mej says:

        WIC 5150 , The police have the authority to take them into custody and deliver them to inpatient, which is what they used to do here. To cut down on cost, the police have new marching orders from the county (which has nothing to do with the law.)

        This man who later shot off his gun was obviously a danger to himself and/or others. The fact that the police did not take him has nothing to do with California law. It’s an issue the county worked out with the police because they don’t have room in their inpatient.

        How horrible for this ill man to not be given the help he needed, then taken to jail and have his name blasted all over the media by the telegram tribune that he in in the psyche ward at the jail.

        Way to go Telegram Tribune for snaking around the HIPPA privacy laws.

        (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  4. joseywales says:

    in texas the cops would have had a beer with the shooter…..then shot the cans together….

    (-10) 36 Total Votes - 13 up - 23 down

Leave a Comment