Gilroy Attempted Murder Suspect Arrested After San Francisco Standoff

A 36-year-old man arrested after a standoff with police in San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley neighborhood was wanted for an attempted murder case in Gilroy last week, police said.

Justin Skannal, a Sacramento resident, was wanted for a stabbing that seriously injured his former mother-in-law in Gilroy on Dec. 8, Gilroy police said.

He was arrested shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday following a standoff at the Sunnydale public housing complex in the 100 block of Blythedale Avenue in San Francisco.

Investigators learned Skannal was there and tried to contact him, but he threatened to harm himself and refused to come out. A tactical unit and crisis negotiators responded and he eventually surrendered without incident and was taken into custody.

San Francisco police initially said the suspect was wanted for a murder in Gilroy, but Gilroy police Sgt. Royce Heath clarified that it was last week’s attempted murder case.

Heath said Skannal was taken into custody on a $1 million warrant for the stabbing reported shortly before 7 a.m. on Dec. 8 in the 800 block of Monticelli Drive in Gilroy.

Police said Skannal forced his way into the home of his 59-year-old former mother-in-law and demanded to know the whereabouts of his estranged wife.

When she did not give him the information he wanted, Skannal allegedly stabbed her multiple times as she was lying in bed and then fled, according to police. The victim suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to a San Jose trauma center to undergo surgery.

Skannal is allegedly a Sacramento-area gang member with an extensive criminal history, including a prior conviction for making criminal threats toward his estranged wife, police said. He was on parole at the time of his arrest.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact Gilroy police at (408) 846-0349.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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