California police surround murder suspect after 110 mph chase

Friday, September 7, 2001

NEWMAN, Calif. -- A suspect in a double murder led police on a 110 mph chase Thursday, then holed up in his crippled automobile as officers surrounded him. The standoff forced the closure of Interstate 5.

Two hostage negotiators were with police at the highway outside Newman, trying to persuade Joaquin Gutierrez, 40, to surrender as a SWAT team sharpshooter lay in a strip of grass nearby. Gutierrez led police on a chase reaching speeds of 110 mph through Bay Area rush-hour traffic Thursday morning.

California Highway Patrol officers ended the chase by throwing a strip of spikes in front of his car, which popped his tires. Gutierrez then sat in his car on Interstate 5, near the border of Stanislaus and Merced counties, with a gun to his chest and told police they would not take him alive.

He later told officers his gun was not loaded, but they remained cautious.

Gutierrez is named in a warrant in the June 23 killing of his wife, Guadalupe Gutierrez, 40, and a 15-year-old stepson. His two other stepchildren were present during the shooting, which happened as the couple were in the process of separating, police said.

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