Man arrested after four-hour standoff |

Man arrested after four-hour standoff

Jeff Munson and William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune
By Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily TribuneA police team is stationed outside a home on Los Angeles Avenue where a man eventually surrendered peacefully.

A South Lake Tahoe man was arrested on charges of attempted murder Wednesday after he allegedly fired a gun into a Los Angeles Drive home.

The standoff, which began at 6:17 a.m. and ended more than four hours later, forced the evacuation of nearby St. Theresa Catholic Church, where services to commemorate Sept. 11, 2001 were being held. A helicopter landed on Lake Tahoe Boulevard, which was closed for more than two hours before the man surrendered.

Arrested was 31-year-old Marco Joaquin Muiretta. Authorities said the suspect shot a gun into the house occupied by his roommate and her ex-husband.

Muiretta had a long-range 7.62-caliber bolt-action rifle, numerous vehicles and open space around the house, located at 1028 Los Angeles Drive, said Sgt. Alex Schumacher.

A California Highway Patrol helicopter was called upon and stationed on the highway in case Muiretta used one of the cars to flee, Schumacher said.

Along with the CHP, the El Dorado Sheriff’s Department and South Lake Tahoe Fire Department provided assistance. A command post was temporarily set up at the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce. A tactical command post was located at the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center.

Two flashbang grenades were used shortly before Muiretta’s arrest to get his attention. A phone was thrown into the residence soon after.

The unidentified male and female, who left after Muiretta fired the lone shot, had taken the only telephone from the house with them, Schumacher said.

The incident, which was behind St. Theresa Catholic School and along the American Legion tract, caused concern among some parents.

Highway 50 was closed from Rufus Allen to Al Tahoe boulevards around 8:30 a.m., causing some disruption in businesses.

The last time Highway 50 was closed within the city limits was in September 2001 when there was a nine-hour standoff at Campground By The Lake. A girl was killed in the incident and her mother, Lisa Platz, is facing murder charges. Platz’s boyfriend James Csucsai, killed himself in jail.

Steve Willey, who watched the events from the Snow Flake Drive-In on Harrison Ave., heard the grenades.

“It sounded like gunshots going off,” Willey said. “I thought they shot the guy.”

Brothers Robert and Randy Stine, who videotaped and took photographs at the scene, said the event reminded them of what happened nearly a year ago at the Campground By The Lake.

“This was really weird, especially today, with 9/11 and all,” Randy Stine said.

“I’m glad it didn’t end up like last year with somebody dead,” Robert Stine said.

Chris Andersen, owner of Taqueria Jalisco on Harrison Ave., said his produce deliveryman walked more than a mile with a dolly full of produce to get it to the restaurant because the road was closed.

“If he didn’t make the delivery, we may not have been able to open for lunch,” Andersen said. “That’s one dedicated delivery guy.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User