The homeless man who was shot by Chula Vista Police after allegedly holding another man hostage at knifepoint has died and been identified on Thursday by police. 

Chula Vista Police fatally shot 37-year-old Perri Sammarco, after being called on Sunday at about 7:45 p.m. to an apartment building on the 600 block of Moss Street in response to multiple callers reporting two people possibly setting up camp in the stairwell. Callers reported hearing “banging on doors, yelling and possibly using drugs or dealing with mental illness,” according to Lt. Adam Sharki. 

“When officers responded, they located one of the subjects in an apartment stairwell,'' Sharki said. ”As they contacted him, he moved a blanket from in front of him and revealed that he was holding another male hostage with a knife to his throat.''

According to Lt. Sharki, the officers called additional officers and resources, which included a member of the department’s Crisis Negotiation Team, who began negotiating with Sammarco. Despite negotiation efforts, Sammarco continued yelling at officers, threatening to kill the hostage, and refusing to cooperate. 

A K-9 officer, identified as Alfonso Pedromo, who was also a member of the department's SWAT team, arrived at the location as Sammarco continued to press the knife to the victim's throat and did not respond to the negotiations. The officer, along with a team of other officers, climbed through a balcony to an apartment positioned to the side of the suspect, according to Lt. Sharki. 

According to San Diego Police, who were called to the scene to conduct an investigation of the shooting, the K-9 officer unlocked and cracked the apartment door. He then fired his department-issued rifle at the suspect, striking Sammarco in the head. 

The hostage, identified as 34-year-old Justin Holley, was able to get away and was treated at a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries to his neck. 

Sammarco succumbed to his injuries on Monday in a hospital. 

The K-9 officer has been employed by the Chula Vista Police Department for approximately five years. 

No other injuries were reported as a result of this incident. 

The San Diego Police urges anyone with information about the incident to call 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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