Suspect dead, cop injured in game room robbery shootoutWritten by Rebecca Elmore
Guam - One man is dead and a police officer injured in a fatal shootout early this morning in Dededo.
Around 5am today, police responded to reports of an armed robbery at the House of Liberty Game Room in Barrigada. The 911 call came from an on-duty security guard, who told the police the male suspect had a gun. But when the police encountered the armed suspect, he fled the scene leading the cops on a hot pursuit, startling early morning commuters.
In a press conference, Police Chief JI Cruz told the media that the car chase involved multiple police vehicles and lasted around 15 minutes. Ultimately, the pursuit ended between the streets of Chalan Langet and Biradan Langet in Dededo. That's when the suspect opened fire on the police officers, but the shootout proved fatal.
“In the exchange of gunfire one police officer and the suspect sustained multiple injuries. The suspect later succumbed to the injuries he sustained. And the injured officer was transported to GMH and released,” Chief Cruz said.
Cruz notes that the injured police officer sustained injuries from the car chase and not from the shootout. However, the male suspect was pronounced dead on the scene by the chief medical examiner.
Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola confirmed the suspect's identity as Steve Seagraves. Previous magistrate reports reveal that Seagraves had at least three run-ins with the law --all three cases involved driving while under the influence.
Although Police Chief Cruz could not identify the police officers involved in the shootout, he said at least two officers have since been placed on paid administrative leave saying, “As unfortunate as it was that someone lost their life, we did what we had to do, we acted accordingly and I would like to commend the entire Guam Police Department for their actions this morning.”
Cruz also credits GPD’s newly adopted Robbery Suppression Task Force for the quick response to the reported robberies.
“In response to those robberies, GPD formulated a Robbery Suppression Task Force, comprising of officers assigned to the Mandana Drug Task Force, the Criminal Investigations Section, the Guam Highway Patrol Division, and our Special Operations Division,” he said.
Cruz added that GPD’s Chaplain Monsignor James Benavente will be on hand for any additional counseling as needed for the officers involved in the shootout and subsequent death of the suspect.
“The [killshot] police officer did exactly what he was trained to do. That officer relied solely on his training, his experience, as did all the officers involved in this experience,” he said.
Cruz couldn't confirm whether the police officers involved were wearing body cameras or how long the two officers will remain on administrative leave. However, Cruz said an investigation has been opened into the matter.
Espinola said he will conduct an autopsy on Seagraves on Monday.