In a startling turn of events, a man was killed in a fire that was started by a police thrown flash grenade. The diversionary grenade set the house ablaze and Rogelio Serrato, 31, was unable to escape before succumbing to smoke inhalation and collapsing to the floor of the burning house.
The police raided the house in Greenfield, California in search of Alejandro Jose Gonzalez, who is a suspect in a shooting that occurred on New Years Day. Gonzalez, 23, was not in the house and has yet to be found.
Police maintained negotiations with Serrato for over an hour before finally tossing the this-time fatal stun grenade into the house. These grenades are not designed to kill, they emit a loud noise and a blinding flash of light that is meant only to stun and disorient.
Neighbor and childhood pal Ernie Gallardo witnessed the entire operation.
“What really saddens me is that he had the opportunity to come out and live through it,” stated Gallardo. “Maybe he would have gone to jail and lived, but he was lying out in the sidewalk instead.”
According to police chief Philip Penko, Gonzalo was the only shooter in the incident that occurred on New Year’s Day outside a bar in Monterey.
Gonzalez, still at large, a two prior felonies.