South Tahoe Police arrest man after 3-hour armed standoff

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Lake Tahoe Police arrested an alleged domestic abuser on Tuesday after a three hour armed standoff.

James Sherfield-Morrison

SLTPD responded to Barton Memorial Hospital on Nov. 2 regarding a domestic violence victim who was being treated for multiple injuries, including broken bones.

The victim reported to police that the abuse took place four days prior on Oct. 30.

She was at a residence with her boyfriend, South Lake Tahoe resident James Sherfield-Morrison, 30, when Sherfield-Morrison became intoxicated and violent, according to a police report. The victim said she left to stay at a local hotel after he punched and strangled her.

On Halloween night, Sherfield-Morrison and the victim were together again at the Days Inn motel when he began drinking.

As he became intoxicated, he again became violent, striking and strangling her. The victim escaped after he passed out.

Police were able to track down Sherfield-Morrison, who is on parole for resisting an officer, assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence causing traumatic injury, using his ankle monitor. They found him at an address on Fairway Ave.

According to a press release, he had made comments to family members that he was not going back to prison.

After he was located, he refused to exit the building.

“Due to his violent history and possible access to weapons inside his residence, the South Lake Tahoe Police SWAT and Crisis Negotiation Team were activated,” the release said.

While officers attempted to negotiate with Sherfield-Morrison, he armed himself with what appeared to be a rifle and large knives. He came outside numerous times and shot the rifle, then retreated back inside the residence.

“He also came outside numerous times and pointed the rifle at officers, in an apparent attempt to cause the officers to shoot him,” the police statement said. “Because officers were safely behind the department’s armored vehicle, they were able to continue to attempt to negotiate with James for a peaceful resolution.”

During the incident, Sherfield-Morrison was consuming alcohol and appeared to be getting more and more agitated. He had armed himself with a baseball bat, large kitchen knives and the rifle, each time coming outside and challenging officers.

“Officers made the decision to use gas to force Sherfield-Morrison out of the house and to surrender,” the statement said.

After a nearly three hour standoff, Sherfield-Morrison surrendered. He sustained minor injuries and was taken into custody by the SWAT officers on scene and immediately treated for gas exposure.

Officers determined the rifle Sherfield-Morrison had fired was a .177 caliber air rifle.

Sherfield-Morrison was booked into the El Dorado County Jail for domestic violence causing traumatic injury, battery causing serious injuries, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest and parole violations.

His bail was set at $75,000 and was in custody as of Wednesday morning.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective John Spaeth at the South Lake Tahoe Police Department 530-542-6100.

Officers determined the rifle Sherfield-Morrison had fired was a .177 caliber air rifle.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune is a sister publication of the Sierra Sun.

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