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Hospital Lockdown Triggered By Armed Suspect

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Jackson, CA– The Amador County Sheriff’s Office reported that a Jackson Police officer responded to a distress call on May 18, around 11 p.m. The officer was traveling east on Court Street near the Highway 88 intersection when he noticed a man shouting for help behind the Jackson Liquors building.

The officer entered the parking lot and illuminated the area with his spotlights, revealing a man with a rifle, later identified as 46-year-old Joel Hand. The officer immediately called for emergency backup and tried to de-escalate the situation. Hand eventually dropped the firearm and began to walk away, ignoring the officer’s commands to stop. He then charged at the officer before diverting back to retrieve the rifle and crossing the highway toward Sutter Amador Hospital, prompting a lockdown. A second Jackson officer arrived, and together they contained Hand near the Jackson Creek area until an Amador County Sheriff’s K-9 unit arrived. Despite repeated commands to surrender, Hand refused. K-9 “Zidan” was deployed and subdued Hand, allowing the officers to arrest him.

The rifle was determined to be a pellet gun. Hand was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries before being booked into the Amador County Jail. The Sheriff’s Office praised the officers for their restraint, emphasizing the critical role of the K-9 unit in resolving the incident, and used the incident to criticize a recent push by CA state legislators to eliminate K9 units as a law enforcement tool. 

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