Friday standoff in Moses Lake ends peacefully

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald - A woman who identified herself as the girlfriend of a man who barricaded himself inside a Moses Lake house attempted to talk him into coming out during a standoff Friday. The man surrendered peacefully after about an hour.

UPDATE: The man who barricaded himself in a house in the Larsen neighborhood during an hour-long standoff Friday has been identified.

Robert Gwinn, 38, Moses Lake, led deputies on a five mile chase at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour before abandoning his car near his residence on Vandenberg Loop. A Grant County Sheriff’s deputy watching the house saw Gwinn go in through the back door. When officers asked him to come out of the house he refused, leading to the standoff which ended when Gwinn surrendered without incident.

Matthew Valenzuela, 33, Moses Lake, was in the house during the standoff and was found to have several outstanding felony warrants. He too was taken into custody.


MOSES LAKE — A man surrendered peacefully after leading police on a pursuit and barricading himself in a residence on Vandenburg Loop for about an hour Friday morning.

“It's peaceful,” Kent Jones of the Grant County Sheriff's Office said of the standoff's ending.

The man had run from police on three previous occasions, Jones said, before he was spotted Friday morning and led them on another chase. The officers deployed spikes to stop the car, which worked, and the man abandoned his vehicle and ran into a house on Vandenberg Loop. The residents knew the suspect, Jones said.

The K-9 units from the sheriff's office and Moses Lake were on the scene, and the Moses Lake Regional Tactical Response Team was summoned. But the man walked out of the house and surrendered to officers before either unit was deployed.

A woman who said she was the man's girlfriend attempted to talk to him, and officers repeatedly asked him to come out of the residence. They told him the residence was surrounded, and they weren't leaving. “We cannot go away. There are issues stemming from today you will have to deal with.”

Law enforcement officers did set off two “flash-bangs,” which in fact do make loud bangs. That was done in an effort to make the man think about what he was doing, Jones said. “I think heat, and consideration for his family, took over,” Jones said.

The man will be charged on the outstanding warrants and for charges stemming from Friday's chase and standoff. Jones said officers believed the man attempted to target them during the chase, and additional charges will be filed stemming from Friday's incident.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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