Standoff ends with suspect, alleged hostage in custody

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

MESA, Ariz. -- Two people are in custody after a reported domestic dispute escalated into a police standoff at a Mesa apartment complex.

It started at about 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Aspen Ridge apartments at Brown Road and Horne.

Several neighbors called police saying 48-year-old Mandy Renee Fuqua was shouting at her boyfriend, 54-year-old Daniel Lewis Gutierrez, outside their apartment and holding a kitchen knife to his throat.

When two Mesa police officers arrived on scene, Fuqua reportedly ran inside the apartment and was followed by Gutierrez.

The officers knocked on the door and announced their presence. Gutierrez allegedly yelled through the door that he was not going to open it and would kill the officers.

Police then heard Fuqua screaming for help. They were starting to kick the door open when Gutierrez walked to the kitchen window and displayed what appeared to be a holstered gun.

When Gutierrez allegedly pointed the weapon at the officers, they fired nine rounds, according to court paperwork. Police said Gutierrez ran away from the window and was not hit.

"You could just smell the gun shot," Annette Strmic explained.

"The subject was able to close the front door and barricade inside the apartment with the female," Mesa police Sgt. Tony Landato said.

At that point, SWAT was called in and negotiations launched.

"One after the other, Mesa police came, K-9 units," Strmic said. "It happened within, for the police coming, at least three minutes."

After about four hours, SWAT used tear gas to get the couple out. Both Gutierrez and Fuqua were taken into custody.

Fuqua is being charged with one count of aggravated assault -- domestic violence. Gutierrez faces two counts of aggravated assault.

Police said they served a search warrant on the apartment, where they recovered the kitchen knife and apparent firearm -- a broken BB pistol wrapped in a cloth.

Police said Fuqua admitted to holding the knife to Gutierrez's throat. Gutierrez reportedly told police Fuqua pointed the BB gun at the officers but gave contradictory statements.

It's not clear what sparked the initial dispute between the Fuqua and Gutierrez, but court paperwork states the couple has a history of domestic violence.

Fuqua and Gutierrez have both been arrested on numerous occasions and convicted of several crimes, according to court paperwork. Gutierrez served time in prison for aggravated assault on a police officer.

Court paperwork identified them as girlfriend and boyfriend, and said they have lived in the apartment together for six months.

Police also said there is indication that both Fuqua and Gutierrez are addicts.

No injuries were reported.