APD: Suspect hospitalized after starting fire during SWAT standoff

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A suspect is in critical condition after he allegedly started a fire inside a home where he was barricading himself. 

This happened in northeast Albuquerque around 8 a.m. Monday morning.

APD says they called out a SWAT team after the suspect, Stiven Katicic, allegedly strangled his mother and sister, and held them against their will.

Fortunately, police were able to get them out safely, but Katicic refused to come out. 

In a SWAT robot video, Katicic lights what looks like a piece of fabric on fire, then waves it in front of the robot. 

Then, in a matter of minutes, the home is filled with thick smoke. APD says Katicic surrendered shortly after that. 

This is not the first time we’ve seen a house fire spark during a SWAT situation. 

Just over a year ago, a 14-year-old boy died in a fire that started from a “flameless grenade” that APD used during a standoff. 

Police were called out to that home to arrest Qiaunt Kelley, who was wanted for a probation violation. 

Since that deadly incident, APD says they’ve started training officers on what to do in case a fire breaks out. 

“Since the San Joaquin incident we train regularly with AFR. We deploy fire extinguishers to each side the of the home when we are deployed to different sides of the home. And I can assure you that each member is really attentive to paying attention to any signs of the fire,” said APD Deputy Chief Michael Smathers. 

APD says the 34-year-old suspect in Monday morning’s standoff has a history of setting fires. He was also just released from the county jail Sunday for a different incident.

Stay with KOB 4 Eyewitness News and KOB.com for updates.