Hostage, Suspect Identified in Fatal San Jose Standoff

San Jose police identified on Tuesday both the hostage and the suspect who officers say killed her in the Cambrian neighborhood.

The woman, found dead with at least one gunshot wound, was identified by police as Yolanda Najera, 53.

Police said the man who held her hostage beginning about 2:15 p.m. on Monday was Leonel Acevedo, 45. Police said the two knew each other, and that Acevedo had previously lived at the home in the 4400 block of Camden Avenue where he had "forcefully" taken Najera inside. But the nature of their relationship was not spelled out, nor was a reason why Acevedo would have shot her to death.

After three hours of chaos, Acevedo came outside the home about 5 p.m., and was armed with at least one handgun, Officer Albert Morales said, and fired shots at the swarms of officers congregated nearby. Police said one of the officers returned fire, killing Acevedo. Najera was found dead inside the home.

Sources tell NBC Bay Area Acevedo was arrested in 1994 for carrying a concealed weapon, but it is unclear if he was ever convicted of those charges.

Najera's devastated son Jorge said Tuesday that the family is overwhelmed with grief.

"She was a great mom, she was a great grandma — you know?" he said.

Neighbors said the area looked like a war zone because of the heavy police presence.

"I'm stunned," Ron Mortenson said. "I've lived here 30 years. I can't recall anything like this happening in my neighborhood."

Neighbor Michael Quintana agreed.

"They're very friendly," he said. "They're very nice. There are kids who live in the house. The kids seem very happy. It was insane to hear that it was something that happened like that."

An officer with 12 years on the force was injured during the gun battle, police said.

But sources told NBC Bay Area that Acevedo rushed at officers, armed with a gun in each hand. He fired nearly half a dozen shots, they said.

The officer suffered a flesh wound near the knee, sources said, while another bullet got lodged in his boot.

Although the Najera family is reeling from shock and trying to process Yolanda's death, Jorge expressed gratitude at the outpouring of public support.

When asked if the San Jose community could help in any way, Jorge replied: "Just take care."

Sources tell NBC Bay Area investigators are still trying to determine Acevedo's motive, including whether this was the result of him being evicted from the home in July and if that eviction stemmed from a domestic dispute.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Guire or Detective Tran of the San Jose Police Department homicide unit at 408-277-5283.

Contact Us