Locksmith Blamed for Own Death

July 8, 2013
Locksmith Killed while attempting to open house for Modesto Police

The following article was published in The Modesto Bee on June 28, 2013. The article was written by Garth Stapley. I will shorten the article to cover the specifics related to the incident.

A locksmith was to blame for getting shot along with a deputy sheriff in a deadly Modesto ambush, attorneys for Stanislaus County contend in a court document.

Glendon Engert "freely and voluntarily assumed the risk of injury and damage" as he disabled a lock during an April 2012 eviction with deputies, attorneys wrote in a response to a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by Engert's survivors.

Engert "acted in concert with (deputies) and knowingly and willingly consented to the conduct of (deputies) in total and utter disregard for the likelihood or probability that he might be injured," the document says. It additionally blames Engert's "careless(ness), negligence and willful conduct."

The lawsuit claims the Sheriff's Department owed Engert better protection, especially because deputies received detailed warnings of the homeowner's mental instability and military grade weapons.

Jim Ferrario, 45, did not answer knocks at the door and fired an assault rifle from within as Engert, 35, drilled a lock, killing him and deputy Bob Paris, 53. The shootings sparked a lengthy standoff with SWAT squads, ending in an inferno and Ferrario's suicide.

Two investigations found fault with Paris and deputy Mike Glinskas, who was not shot, for failing to take proper precautions given a wealth of specific warning signs, and Sheriff's Department officials for failing to correct Paris' cavalier attitude. The investigations were cited in the civil rights lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Fresno.

Do you think the locksmith was responsible or not responsible for the risk taken?