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CA- Fremont standoff ends in suicide

11-28-2006 California:

.An all-night standoff at the home of a Fremont man accused of child molestation ended early Sunday morning when the resident shot himself to death as police stormed his house. Officers arrived at the house on the 41000 block of Apricot Lane at about 10 p.m. Saturday to arrest Kenneth Sackett, 46, for abusing and molesting a girl who is now 16 years old, police said. A SWAT team was called when Sackett, who officers thought possessed a handgun, refused to allow police inside the house.

Negotiations with Sackett lasted throughout the night, police said. About 5:30 a.m., shortly after firing tear gas into the house, officers busted through the front door. As officers entered, they heard a muffled gunshot from a back bedroom, where Sackett was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. No one else was inside the house, police said. Sackett had said he worked for the Fremont Unified School District as a construction manager, according to the owners of the house, which Sackett had rented for about two years.

Neighbors said Sackett was divorced and lived in the house with two children. Officers at the house Sunday said they didn't know when the teenager first accused Sackett of molestation, how many times she said he molested her, or where the abuse took place. Sgt. Patrick Hunt said he didn't know the circumstances that led police to end negotiations and enter the house. "Obviously the goal is to have everybody safe," he said.

"We can't control when someone decides to take his own life." Hunt added that he wasn't certain if Sackett had any previous arrests or if he had a permit for the handgun. Sackett's neighbors said he barely spoke to them, and most didn't know him by name. "He was a big dude who didn't seem amiable to conversation," said one neighbor, who refused to give his name.

During the standoff, police ordered neighbors directly across the street from Sackett's house to stay in the rear of their homes. His next-door neighbors said they were taken by police to wait inside the Chevron gas station, two blocks away at Driscoll Road and Paseo Padre Parkway. "I was there from about 1:15 to about 6:30 a.m.," said a neighbor, who also asked not to be identified. "There wasn't anyplace to sit." ..more.. : by Matthew Artz

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