On Sunday, December 13, 2020, Oxnard Police Officers were dispatched to a call of a possible crime that occurred inside an apartment in the 600 block of W. Vineyard Avenue. While on scene, officers attempted to contact the occupants of the apartment however suspect Michael Balam, age 42, resident of Oxnard, refused to allow the occupants to open the door for the officers. While officers were on scene, they received information that Balam was armed with a firearm inside the apartment.
Officers were also informed that there were four additional occupants inside the residence, including several juveniles, who had locked themselves inside a bedroom. Officers began evacuating nearby residences. OPD SWAT and Crisis Negotiations Team responded and established communications with the occupants inside the apartment. Suspect Balam refused to surrender, remained agitated, told officers he was armed with a firearm, and continued making threats towards the officers and the occupants inside the apartment. After approximately three hours, a gunshot was fired from inside the apartment. The bullet went through the front door and narrowly missed striking SWAT team members who were staged very close to the door. The bullet penetrated into a nearby apartment that had previously been evacuated. Shortly afterwards, SWAT made an exigent entry into the apartment, simultaneously rescuing the four occupants and taking Balam into custody. He was arrested for attempted murder of a police officer, felony child endangerment, and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
The incident is being investigated by the department’s Major Crimes Unit and Family Protection Unit. Anyone with information regarding this case or other criminal activity is encouraged to contact the Oxnard Police Department at (805) 385-7600, or online via the Oxnard Police Department’s website: www.oxnardpd.org, and clicking on Report Suspicious Activity. You can remain anonymous if you choose to do so. You can remain anonymous by calling the Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. You can also visit this site: www.venturacountycrimestoppers.org to submit a tip via text or email.