Terrorized family safe after fast action of local law enforcement


EL CENTRO – El Centro police, with the aid of the U.S. Border Patrol and Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, successfully secured a threatened neighborhood and arrested an armed suspect without any harm done to the community or the person threatening the family, according to a press release.

El Centro police officers were dispatched Saturday, June 24, at 9:07 p.m., to the 500 block of Sandalwood Drive concerning a report of “shots fired,” according to a press release from the El Centro Police department. The caller to the dispatchers she had reportedly been in a verbal argument with Barrett Tanner Trost, a 35-year‐old resident of El Centro.

The caller contended that during the argument, Trost alledgedly threatened to “kill” a member of the family who was present at the residence, the release said. Trost allegedly was holding a rifle when he made this statement. At one point, according to the caller, Trost allegedly walked into another room in the residence and fired one round into the ceiling before telling the other occupants of the residence they were all “going to get it.”

According to reports, officers arrived and immediately noticed the street was dark and visibility was poor. They reported they could see several people run out of the residence and towards them. The occupants confirmed the suspect had discharged a firearm and made threats. They stated he owned several firearms and was suspected of consuming alcohol throughout the day.

Given the limited number of resources available due to staffing levels, officers on scene requested assistance from the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol to establish a perimeter. Off‐duty personnel from the K‐9 Unit and a certified crisis negotiator were also called to the scene, read the release. Once the perimeter was established, officers began making announcements over the public-address system requesting Trost to exit the residence. These commands were repeated for approximately an hour. At one point dispatchers contacted Trost via cellular telephone. Trost told the police he was not at the residence, but was near the area. Trost then disconnected the phone, according to the release.

At 11:02 p.m., Trost entered the lobby at the police department and informed dispatchers he was at the front counter. Officers drove to the station and Trost was peacefully taken into custody. Officers on scene conducted a safety check at the residence in the 500 block of Sandalwood. They retrieved several firearms and confirmed one had been fired inside the residence. Trost told officiers he had left the residence before officers had completely established a perimeter. He was transported to the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office where he was booked on suspicion of making felony threats, brandishing a weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm, according to the release.

The El Centro police commander, Robert Sawyer, thanked the California Highway Patrol and Imperial County Sheriff’s Office for their quick response and assistance with this incident, said the release.