PoliceOne Staff Report
(SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif.) -- A Citrus Heights man who was allegedly holding a knife to the throat of his 84-year-old stepfather was shot and kill on Dec 19 by a county sheriff's SWAT team member.
Daniel Lienau, 38, was fatally shot at 5 p.m. after a standoff with police that lasted more than eight hours. The stepfather, Donald Snedigar was not injured.
At about 8 a.m. Lienau's mother left the house at the 6300 block of Bonham Circle after a family argument. She told a neighbor that she believed her son was on drugs and would injure Snedigar.
The neighbor called police.
"When the first Citrus Heights Police units arrived, they attempted to make contact with the son," sheriff's spokesman Sgt. James Lewis told the Sacramento Bee. "He refused to come to the door, and the officers heard him yell: 'I have a gun! I have him in here! Go away!' "
Lienau had a history of violence against Snedigar. Previously he had violated a prior parole agreement and was sent back to prison when he assaulted his stepfather.
Deputies evacuated 27 homes in the area during the standoff and called in the Sacramento County SWAT team to assist the Citrus Heights police.
"He acted irrationally all day, and we learned that the front door and the door to the master bedroom were barricaded," Lewis told the Bee.
At about 5 p.m. a SWAT team member who had sneaked into the house confronted Lienau in the master bedroom.
"The (SWAT officers) kicked in the door, and when they entered, they saw the suspect with a knife taped to one hand and a wooden spice rack he was using as a shield taped to the other hand," Lewis told the Bee.
"He had pulled his stepfather on top of him on the bed to use as a shield, and he had the knife to the (stepfather's) throat.
"One officer fired one shot that struck the victim's head. He apparently died instantly."
The officer that fired the shot has been placed on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.