FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A man is dead and his wife seriously injured after an hours-long standoff in Tulare County. The Tulare County Sheriff's Office says it happened around 11:30 Tuesday night near Avenue 327 and Road 159 in Ivanhoe. They said 55-year-old Ronald Pierson shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself.
They're saying there is a history between this couple including verbal and physical abuse and now the wife is fighting for her life.
When Woodlake police arrived at a home on Avenue 327 in Ivanhoe, they found 63-year-old Marilyn Hayes lying in the front yard. She had been shot in the head by her husband and while first responders treated her, they heard another gunshot nearby.
Officials with the Tulare County Sheriff's Department now believe that was Hayes' husband Pierson taking his own life. But a standoff involving several law enforcement agencies lasted for four hours. They didn't know if Pierson was dead or alive.cA CHP helicopter detected movement inside the house, and identified a weapon near it. "We were attempting communication through the loudspeaker. This incident, we were not getting any responses at the time," said Capt. Keith Douglass, Tulare County Sheriff's Department.
It wasn't until SWAT came in that they saw Pierson had killed himself. His wife, Hayes, was taken to Kaweah Delta Medical Center and then a Fresno hospital where she spent all day Wednesday in surgery.
The sheriff's department said there's been a history of problems between the couple who have been married for two years. In recent months, their arguments have become more heated. "We've been out there several times before in the last several years, and we do have several calls for service, and one being a domestic violence case in 2014," said Douglass.
The Tulare County District Attorney dropped that case because of a lack of evidence.