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Photo Courtesy Of The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office
Damien Gillaspie

The man who died during a standoff Tuesday on East Oak Street with San Joaquin County Sheriff’s deputies has been identified by the Coroner’s Office as 39-year-old Damien Gillaspie of Lodi.

Gillaspie was an inmate who escaped from the County Jail’s Honor Farm sometime after the 6 p.m. count on Saturday, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office. Gillaspie had been in custody on charges of burglary and possession of stolen property.

Sheriff’s deputies were actively searching for Gillaspie since his escape, and had an arrest warrant issued.

The investigation led deputies to a residence on the 300 block of East Oak Street. They were assisted by Stockton and Lodi Police Departments in attempting to locate Gillaspie at the residence at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

A man and a woman were sitting on the porch as deputies approached the residence, and deputies said the man attempted to run, but was caught after a short foot chase. Deputies asked the couple if there was anyone inside the house, and if it was the Honor Farm escapee. As deputies were talking to them, they could hear someone inside.

Deputies ordered whoever was inside to come out from the house, but received no response.

Authorities set up a perimeter around the house and could hear a commotion from the house, but could not see inside. A short time later, deputies started smelling smoke coming from inside the residence.

By 5:20 p.m., the Lodi Fire Department was called out to assist with the fire.

Fire crews, escorted by officers with ballistic shields, doused the flames through broken windows. They were able to quickly extinguish the fire, which was contained to one room. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Close to two hours later, authorities searched the house and found Gillaspie dead. The official cause of death is pending an autopsy and toxicology results, according the Sheriff’s deputies.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office has launched a multi-agency protocol investigation into this incident. The investigation is ongoing.

Contact reporter Christina Cornejo at christinac@lodinews.com.  

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