A suicide threat and a police chase ended in two deceased males in Hughson on July 25th. Stanislaus County Sheriffs found the bodies of 52-year-old John Szuggar and 45-year-old Nick Kounias in a house on the 1800 block of 7th Street after Szuggar ran into Kounias’ residence and exchanged fire with him.
The incident started when officers responded to a report that a man (later identified as Szuggar) was brandishing a handgun and threatening suicide on Eaton Road. Even though Szuggar left the area before officers could respond, a deputy later spotted a car that matched Szuggar’s vehicle description.
Sheriffs and the California Highway Patrol attempted to stop Szuggar to check on his welfare, but Szuggar continued to drive and eventually led police to Kounias’ home on 7th Street. Upon arriving, Szuggar exited the vehicle and ran inside the home.
As deputies began to surround the residence, they heard several gunshots from inside the home. An adult female subsequently ran out and told officers that there were still people inside the house. The sheriffs then decided to activate the local SWAT Team so that they could infiltrate the house. Once inside, deputies found Szuggar and Kounias dead of gunshot wounds.
While detectives are still trying to piece together the chain of events that happened after Szuggar entered Kounias’ home, preliminary evidence points to Kounias shooting Szuggar in self defense. As detectives sought to determine why Szuggar chose to end the pursuit in Kounias’ home, they have discovered that Szuggar and Kounias had an outstanding feud that originated from a time when they were neighbors.
Deputy Raj Singh of the Stanislaus County Sheriffs Department later confirmed the detective’s statements.
Anyone with information about this case can call the Detective Darwin Hatfield at 209-525-7100. Callers can also leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-INFO (4636). Tipsters can also e-mail tips at http://www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers, or text them to CRIMES (274637) by typing “Tip704” plus the message and be eligible for a cash reward.
Photo: courtesy Department of Motor Vehicles
San Jose Mercury News: Men Found Dead After Central Valley Standoff ID’d
Modesto Bee: Hughson Shooting Victims Fired on Each Other
KCRA: 2 Men Found Dead Inside Home in Hughson Standoff