PoliceOne Staff Report (SAN JOSE, Calif.) -- Police negotiating with a desperate man holding his 4-year-old son hostage kept him from learning that he had wounded an officer, fearing the knowledge would make him feel there was "nothing for him to lose."
Gerard Michael Riffel, 40, allowed the little boy to leave his home Tuesday morning almost 12 hours after the standoff began. A few minutes later, Riffel himself surrendered without incident.
Riffel, who allegedly shot and wounded his daughter Monday, faces three counts of attempted murder. During the standoff, Officer Gregory Raymond was shot in the pelvis during an attempt to deliver a cell phone.
Sgt. Steve Dixon told the San Jose Mercury News that Riffel's behavior during the tense hours of negotiations oscillated between calm and suicidal hysteria. Police at the scene feared what he would do if he knew he had shot an officer.
"He could have killed his son. He could have killed himself," Dixon said. "He could have also killed himself by having us kill him."