Topeka police ID woman found dead after 16-hour standoff in likely murder-suicide

Topeka police on Monday identified Tiffany Montalvo as the woman found dead inside an East Topeka apartment after a lengthy standoff last week.

 

Officers found Montalvo, 31, of Eudora, and Topekan Juan Lucio, 33, dead Friday afternoon inside an Eastgate Townhomes apartment following a 16-hour standoff during which officers repeatedly came under gunfire. Early details of the investigation point to a murder-suicide, Lt. Colleen Stuart said in a news release.

Police believe Lucio, Montalvo and a woman who left the town house during the standoff knew each other.

The situation began shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday when police received a report that a woman had been shot in the town house at 3528 S.E. 7th. As officers arrived, someone began shooting at them, and they were unable to enter. Officers saw a woman down, but because of the gunfire, they couldn’t determine her injuries, police said.

Officers didn’t return fire during the standoff, Stuart previously said, but when police entered the apartment about 1:40 p.m. Friday, they found the bodies of Lucio and Montalvo. One was located on the first floor, and the other was on the upper floor.

After responding Thursday night, negotiators tried to make contact and briefly spoke with a person inside who threatened to shoot at first responders, Stuart said. The person continued to fire shots at first responders sporadically during the night and Friday morning, including a barrage of shots about 5 a.m.

About an hour before the standoff ended, a woman in her 20s was rescued from the town house after waving to law enforcement officers from a second-story window.

Kansas Highway Patrol troopers brought a ladder to the apartment and leaned it against the building for the woman to climb down, Stuart said at the scene. The woman was treated for exposure to tear gas, which was used during the standoff, then questioned by police.

Police haven’t released her identity.

Stuart said Monday that toxicology reports for Lucio and Montalvo will take weeks to complete.

According to the Kansas Department of Corrections, Lucio was released from the state correctional system in September after serving more than six years in prison for several felonies — for which he pleaded no contest — including aggravated robbery and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer more than seven years ago.

Archives of The Topeka Capital-Journal show Lucio was shot by Topeka police in June 2011 after he aimed a firearm at an officer after a car chase.

Stormont Vail Health and the city of Topeka fought over the cost of treating Lucio.

The hospital filed a claim with the city seeking nearly $200,000. Then-assistant city attorney Ken Benjamin argued Shawnee County was responsible for the bill because the man was charged with state law violations, not city infractions. The city ultimately didn’t pay the claim.

Contact reporter Luke Ranker at (785) 295-1270 or @lrankerNEWS on Twitter. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/lukeranker.

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