FREMONT, Calif. - Fremont police are still trying to unravel how and why a known parole violator, opened fire on officers Thursday night, sparking a fatal exchange of gunfire.
A preliminary investigation indicates that seven officers, including three undercover officers, fired at the suspect after he allegedly pointed a gun at them, Fremont police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said.
Friday afternoon, Fremont police officers collected forensic evidence inside an Arco gas station at Nicolet Avenue and Fremont Boulevard. Earlier in the day, a woman claiming to be the girlfriend of the shooting victim for the past year and a half spent time at the scene, shedding tears and searching for answers.
“He was a good, good, good person. He was a good person,” said the young woman as he father walked her away from the area.
Investigators say the victim of the officer-involved shooting had two felony warrants for his arrest, after he failed to appear at his arraignment in Alameda County Superior Court. One of the warrants was for illegal possession of a firearm, and a second for removing his ankle monitoring device.
A police spokeswoman said the suspect had fled from an officer earlier this week.
Fremont police said the confrontation happened after undercover officers saw the wanted man sitting in a car’s passenger seat at about 6:47 p.m. Thursday night. Responding back-up officers ordered the driver to pull over, but police say that’s when the suspect jumped out and ran towards the gas station.
“At that time the officer put over the radio that a gun was pointed at him, and then shots were fired. The suspect continued running after that, went around the building where a second shooting incident took place, and additional rounds were fired," said Bosques.
Witnesses used their cell phones to record gunfire.
"It was total chaos. There was gunfire everywhere. It was like a war zone," said Todd Harlan, a vendor who was working in the area at the time of the shooting.
Multiple police officers opened fire, hitting the suspect at least once. The suspect fired at
officers twice but it hasn't yet been determined if he fired first or the officers fired first, according to Bosques.
Police provided field trauma care for the victim, but say he died a short time later.
"I was scared at first only because the shots were done being fired. I don't know the circumstances of what happened. this isn't normal for here," said Fremont resident Andreah Childers..
Neighbors who spoke to KTVU on Friday, who did not want to speak on-camera, but who had a clear view of events from their balconies, confirmed the police version of events. They said the suspect jumped from the car, ran, and opened fire at officers, prompting them to return fire.
“It’s really upsetting that our officers continue to be confronted in these very dangerous situations wth suspects who are willing to do anything to try and get away including firing upon officers.”
Fremont police say detectives working this case have put a hold on the release of the suspect’s identity.