9 p.m.: Gerber standoff concludes with discovery of alleged shooter's body
By GEOFF JOHNSON and RICH GREENE - MediaNews Group
Posted: 12/02/2008 12:12:46 PM PST
GERBER — An eight-hour standoff at a house in Gerber ended tonight when a remote infrared camera was sent into the Reno Avenue home and discovered a body on the kitchen floor believed to be the man who allegedly wounded a CHP officer.
A doctor was brought in to examine the body, which had sustained gunshot wounds, and declared the man dead, Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker said. It was not clear whether the wounds were self-inflicted or the result of officers returning fire.
The standoff began at about 10:30 a.m. after James E. Long, 60, allegedly opened fire on CHP officers and Tehama County deputies as they approached his house in response to a domestic disturbance report. Gerber is located west of Los Molinos near Highway 99W.
Red Bluff CHP officer David Madrigal was shot in the leg this morning while assisting sheriff's deputies. He was listed in serious condition after being airlifted to Redding's Mercy Medical Center, according to hospital spokesman Michael Burke. As of tonight, Madrigal was out of surgery with a good prognosis, Parker said.
Parker said the incident began when Long reportedly became violent after having an argument with Jean Bradley over her turning off his Internet access. He began throwing items around the house and Bradley called police.
The two have lived together for about 14 years, according to Susan
Mabe, who describes herself as Bradley's best friend. Mabe said Long's behavior and temper have been escalating in recent months.
"He blames her for everything," she said.
Bradley and Long's father escaped the residence following the shooting and other residents nearby were evacuated.
Upon entering the home, officers found guns lining many windows, leading them to believe Long was prepared for an assault, Parker said. Long did have access to a number of firearms, including rifles and shotguns, Tehama County Sheriff's Department Capt. Paul Hosler said.
Law enforcement presence was estimated at more than 50 officers with numerous vehicles and a Shasta County SWAT team on scene. Helicopters surveyed the area throughout the afternoon.
Attempts to drive Long out of the residence using a concussion grenade and loudspeakers were unsuccessful. Later deployment of a dozen tear gas canisters over a 45-minute span also failed to get a reaction from Long.
Access to the residence was blocked off for a half-mile in either direction and law enforcement officials ordered lights, which were used when the standoff continued into the evening.
Officials at Gerber Union Elementary School, a mile from the home, placed the school in a voluntary lockdown shortly after the incident. School was later dismissed at the normal time and all students were taken by bus to their homes to be met by parents.
The residence is described as a 2,000-square-foot modular farm house on a 13-acre plot. A number of horses are also on the property.
Mabe described Long as a survivalist and said he subscribed to magazines targeted at survivalists.
Neighbors said Long's son committed suicide more than 10 years ago.
"I don't think he has anything to lose," Mabe said.
Geoff Johnson and Rich Greene are reporters for the Red Bluff Daily News.