Man arrested after shots fired into homes

A man was arrested Friday night by Palo Alto police after allegedly firing shots into two homes on the 3900 block of Park Boulevard, Sgt. Sandra Brown said.

Two officers were at Alma Plaza in south Palo Alto at 6:11 p.m. when they heard two shots fired and went to the 3900 block of Park Boulevard. Meanwhile, a woman called 911 and said that a man with a gun was in her backyard.

Two more shots were then fired.

Brown said police set a perimeter at the location and also shut down Caltrain in both directions for 36 minutes because the shots were fired near the train tracks.

The man, Tomas Godinez, 29, of Belmont, was told to come out from the yard and surrender, and he did.

"He wouldn't tell us what he was doing or why he was there," Brown said.

One bullet went through a window of a home, through a living room and became lodged in a bedroom closet, Brown said.

A second bullet went through a fence, into a home and lodged in the back of a dresser.

There were people in both homes at the time, Brown said.

Godinez was charged with shooting into inhabited buildings.

— Don Kazak


Posted by Sonny, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Will the police investigate this as thoroughly as the CT? I think the shooters will be long gone by then.

Posted by please...., a resident of Ventura
on Jul 12, 2008 at 6:21 pm

Sonny, I think you should just say thank you. Or take more cheap shots at the folks who have the courage to try and protect you from folks like this. You don't deserve it. We are grateful they caught this man

Posted by John, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Sonny, you are an example of the very bratty attitude of the PACT true believers.

PACT was a white collar crime investigation, which takes time. The incident with the shooter was a violent crime, with near-immediate apprehension. The PA police did their job in both cases. They should be commended in both cases.

The fact that PACT is a sacred cow, and should not, according to its fanatical supporters, be investigated, is hardly a reason to diss the PA cops.

Posted by Ferdinand II, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2008 at 7:02 pm


The fact that the PAPD spent a zillion and 11 months on the investigation of, at most, a 5-figure white collar crime.

And the fact that despite all the resources they unleashed to convict a 71 year old woman, the DA wouldn't prosecute.

That IS reason to dis the PA cops.

Posted by Jacob, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 12, 2008 at 7:56 pm

Ferdinand II,

Do you have a check list for what police should investigate and not investigate? Are police supposed to only investigate crimes peope agree should be investigated? I am confused. Please write up the list so i can better understand what crimes police are allowed to investigate. Thanks


Posted by Blake, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 12, 2008 at 8:23 pm

To Sonny and Ferd, due to the actions of the PAPD, a shooter is off the street with no one getting hurt. It won't take months to investigate because they caught the guy. Besides, what do you know about financial crimes? In the PACT case the time spent may have been very standard. You don't know. What you do know is how to take disrespectful cheap shots at the PD. The men and women of the PD go out and confront a guy with a gun shooting into occupied homes, and arrest him without anyone getting hurt, buy yet you see no reason to offer any gratitude or respect. The stuff that neither of you would ever dream of doing because you're pathetic cowards. That's why you sit back and snipe.

Posted by Felipe, a resident of Ventura
on Jul 12, 2008 at 8:31 pm

Hey Sonny, call the CT the next someone is in your neighborhood shooting the place up. It happened in our neighborhood yesterday, and I'm grateful for the courageous actions of the police department.

Posted by Crywolf, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Everyone who has complained about the entire PACT ordeal (or any police actions for that matter) still expects the PAPD to show up at their doorstep and answer their 911 calls. correct? correct. Yet they cant stop complaining and whining about the PD. As long as you call 911 the PD will respond - why make rude remarks about them? They are all lame high-school level insults and really immature. So many people spend that much time online making comments against the PD means they need to find something better to do. Get over it! PA Citizens hating on the PD: Imagine if you were Little Red Riding Hood..

Posted by Phil, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 13, 2008 at 12:36 am

Great job, Palo Alto police department! Thanks for protecting our families.

Posted by Problem solved, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 13, 2008 at 8:26 am

Hey I have the answer to all the problems people have with PAPD...

They should have someone monitor this site, trace the IP address of any poster that makes negative, inaccurate, derogatory comments towards the PD, and plot all the posters addresses on a map
When a 911 call comes into dispatch, the address is checked against the map, and if it's one of those nice people that spends all day slamming the PD, the dispatcher simply tells the caller, "sorry, I can't help you".

Just think how much time and money that would save the city.

Posted by a-rod, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 13, 2008 at 8:58 am

Waaaaaaaa, Come over to the other side of the freeway and I would venture to guess most of your petty complaints regarding the PAPD would melt into a pool of gratitude for the brave men and women of the East Palo Alto police department. Palo Alto is nice so be grateful.
Bunch of rich bitches

Posted by Martha K., a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 13, 2008 at 9:02 am

Very true A-Rod, I need to remind my self how lucky and privileged We all are to live in this wonderful community called Palo Alto. If you make some more money you too can move across the freeway and no longer live in fear and filth.

Posted by Felipe, a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 13, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Bu the PA police claim and rightfully so that they are squeezed so tight by budgetary constraints that they don't have enough cops to enforce some laws or conduct enough neighborhood patrols. In times of chronic budgetary constrains, the police must priorities, and devoting so many resources to the possible financial shenanigans at CT, a fairly harmless mater, while cutting down on police patrolling is ludicrous. We can live with non-violent, relatively(and yet unproven) minor white crime but w cannot live with criminals shooting into people's living rooms or people being robbed and shot in downtown.

Posted by Mano, a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 13, 2008 at 12:19 pm

My understanding is that the officers working financial investigations, the detectives. do not work patrol or street crimes anyway. I trust the police understand what crimes have priority, and what non-violent crime they have sufficient stafiing and justification to investigate. Also, spare us the CT references Felipe, and for your information, the PD seemed to have enough people to respond to and arrest the guy shooting into homes.

Posted by Ferdinand II, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2008 at 12:29 pm


> Do you have a check list for what police should investigate and not investigate?

They don't have the bandwidth here for the whole list, so I'll give them to you one at a time, starting with the simplest one, and one we may actually agree on:

Illegal Immigrants.

Posted by Jacob, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 13, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Ferdinand II,

My list is simple. The police department should investigate crime.

Posted by concerned, a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 13, 2008 at 11:13 pm

Friday: shooting on Park Blvd. Saturday(Sunday am):Shooting downtown.
Where are the guns coming from? What can we do to protect ourselves, and also reduce violent crime? The police are an integral part of this, and do their jobs well, but creating a safer city will involve all of us- Any suggestions?

Posted by Jon, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 13, 2008 at 11:52 pm

Minority criminals perpetuating societal prejudice against minorities.

Damn the system.

Where is the love?

Posted by puk, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 14, 2008 at 3:55 pm

the system is a fraud mortgage wiretapping fale war on terror is a war on citizens miilions iraqi killed

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