SAN LEANDRO, Calif. - One man has been arrested for the alleged fatal shootings of two men in the parking lot of a Bayfair Center 24 Hour Fitness just 10 days apart, according to the San Leandro Police Department.
Joshua Ballard, 23, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of two men whom he was allegedly trying to rob or carjack, police said.
Sebahattin Ciftci, 46, was shot and killed on Sept. 14, while Emre Boxkurt, 21, was shot and killed on Sept. 24. Both victims were found dead in their cars in the parking lot in the early morning hours.
Detectives reviewed surveillance footage from several nearby businesses, and they found a person of interest who was seen coming to and from the scenes of both homicides. The suspect wore dark clothing, black boots and a distinctive red Nike backpack, and he fled the scene heading north on Hesperian Boulevard.
Just after 2 p.m. on Tuesday, an officer spotted a man, later identified as Ballard, wearing the red Nike backpack and black boots near Hesperian Boulevard. Officers detained Ballard and found a 9mm semiautomatic handgun without a serial number, otherwise known as a ghost gun.
Officers who searched Ballard's residence allegedly found more evidence that they say connects him to the crime. Police said it does not appear that the victims were specifically targeted. They also said the crime is not directly connected to the 24 Hour Fitness.
Ballard was booked into the Santa Rita Jail in the early hours of Wednesday morning, where he is still being held. He faces charges for felony murder, carjacking and second-degree robbery along with several firearm-related enhancements.
Police are still investigating the shootings and whether they may have been connected. Anyone with further information about the crimes is asked to contact SLPD at 510-577-3244.