Chula Vista police report that on Saturday, February 4, 2023, at approximately 7:45 p.m., the Chula Vista Police Department received multiple radio calls from the 600 block of Moss Street in the city of Chula Vista. The callers stated that two homeless people were possibly setting up camp in an apartment stairwell, banging on doors, yelling, and possibly using drugs or dealing with mental illness. When officers arrived, they located one of the subjects in an apartment stairwell. As they contacted him, he moved a blanket from in front of him and revealed that he was holding another male hostage with a knife to his throat. Officers began giving the suspect commands and requested additional officers and resources. One responding officer is a member of Chula Vista Police’s Crisis Negotiation Team and he began negotiating with the suspect.
The suspect continued yelling at the officers, threatening to kill the hostage, and refusing to cooperate. A canine officer, who is also a member of the SWAT team, responded to the call. While he was at the scene, the suspect continued to press the knife to the victim’s throat, was not responding to the negotiations, and threatened to kill the hostage. The canine officer and a team of other officers climbed through a balcony to enter an apartment positioned to the right of the suspect. The canine officer unlocked and cracked the apartment door open. At that point he fired his department-issued rifle at the suspect, striking him in the head. The hostage was able to get away from the suspect and run. Officers began rendering aid to the suspect until medics arrived.
The victim, in this case, is a 34-year-old male currently homeless in Chula Vista. He was transported and treated at a local hospital for injuries to his neck. His injuries are non-life threatening. He is now identified as Justin Holley. The victim did not know the suspect until the day of the incident when the suspect threatened him and forced him to come to the apartment complex. The suspect, in this case, has been identified as 37-year-old Perri Sammarco. He was transported to a local hospital for his injuries. On February 6, 2023, Sammarco died from his injuries.
The officer involved in this incident is now identified as Alfonso Perdomo. He has been employed by the Chula Vista Police Department for approximately five years. He is currently assigned as a canine handler. No officers were injured during this incident.