Town Square

Post a New Topic

Double shooting reported near IKEA in EPA

Original post made on Dec 6, 2008

A barrage of 14 or 15 bullets felled and may have killed a man and woman in East Palo Alto about 8:20 p.m. Friday. Police flooded the area and called in a helicopter but failed to locate any suspects, a witness reported.

This story contains 518 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.

Comments (21)

Like this comment
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 6, 2008 at 1:03 am

Again, where is the outrage? The March? That makes what, five murders/shootings reported in ONE WEEK? Way to go EPA. Hey Foster and Knox, March this Sunday protesting the violence? You have the temerity to march on Palo Alto, and look at the mess that has been brewing while you were busy messin' in our business!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Prayers and hope to the victims, I hope they survive. To the shooters? I hope you don't.


Like this comment
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 6, 2008 at 1:31 am


You're being completely illogical here. East Palo Alto's problems don't make the police chief's dopey comments somehow right. Johnson should have known better. I think the whole thing went a bit overboard, but Johnson should have known better after that many years in public.

As for EPA--these shootings are very recent--you think there's been time to organize a march since the shooting this evenign? How? And what would a march do here, since it's unclear why these shootings are occurring? For all we know the police are on top of it, or the shootings are unrelated but it's clear that they were domestic incidents, or whatever.

You're using tragedy to complain about EPAers having the nerve to complain about our police chief. It's petty.

Like this comment
Posted by pizzagirl
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 6, 2008 at 1:51 am

i used to deliver pizza for a pizza place (wont kiss and tell) and i remember delivering a pizza in front of that location. as a GIRL driver and not a big burly one at that, i was so scared going into epa and i NEVER got tipped. and i endured a lot more harassment especially on euclid by that store. i've had people try tosell me drugs and wait by my car in an attempt to get my phone number. thank got i memorized the store number cuz thats the only one i ever gave out! only thing that sucks is my boss wouldn't let me get one of the bigger guys to deliver pizza there. if i had ever gotten shot/raped/assaulted, i would have sued my boss first. that place needs to get the guns cleaned up! otherwise i will continue to drive around it to get to the dumbarton every time.

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 6, 2008 at 9:43 am


Speaking of illogical, you slipped in a straw man logical fallacy in your counter argument. FORSHAME didn't try to say "Hey look, the police chief was right because there was a shooting" he was saying "Hey EPA, isn't a string of shootings more march worthy than a police chief's verbal f'up?" The message to me is more clean up your own house before you tell other people how to run theirs.

You do have a point about the time to organize, but it seems like they had the march on Palo Alto City hall organized in a short time.

As long time resident of Palo Alto, who had a friend in EPA while I grew up, I remember how dangerous EPA used to be. In the mid 90s, it really seemed to turn around, not sure why, but I think it was the community organizing against the violence. The community leaders need to show some real bravery and confront the truly hard issues.

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 6, 2008 at 9:55 am

The violence in EPA is about drugs and gangs.
The residents of EPA are unwilling to inform on the gangs and drug dealers ( they refer to it as snitching ) so the activity will continue.

The government of EPA is more interested in grandstanding about the crime fighting methods of PAPD rather than getting their own house in order.

Short of sending in the National Guard and taking the profit motive out of drug dealing the violence in EPA will continue.

The PAPD needs to make sure it does not spill over into our Palo Alto streets through aggressive enforcement of traffic and DMV equipment codes.

Thugs do not walk or bike into Palo Alto from EPA, they do not take the bus or the train, they DRIVE. Scare them off by rigorous law enforcement and they will stay home or go somewhere else.

Such programs have been very effect in parts of DC and Baltimore

Like this comment
Posted by YouShouldKnow
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 6, 2008 at 11:16 am

The first in the recent string of shootings was a week and a half ago. A woman on a bike, not some idiot gangbanger.The march on Palo Alto took less than one week to organize. THAT march was based on some 'dopey' comment (again, all the perfect people who never misspeak; so many here in PA, I am in awe). So I guess that one DEATH, the first, wasn't cause enough to rally for a take back the streets demonstration? Well they have SIX shootings now. Have at at EPA. Show us the same fervor and hysteria and disgust toward bullets flying all about your City as you did for some 'dopey' comments.

Like this comment
Posted by EPA Police Chief
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 6, 2008 at 1:50 pm


I'd like to take a few moments to add some facts to your discussion. First, there have been 4 homicides this year in East Palo Alto (compared to 7 all of last year). If we maintain this rate, it will be the lowest homicide rate since 1999.

Second, although we have a current spate of violence, homicides are down by over 40% and overall crime down by over 20% over the past 3 years.

Please keep in mind, crime reduction is a long-term effort; we cannot allow ourselves to be deterred by periodic spikes in crime and violence. To the contrary, it is times like these that should serve to reinforce our efforts. We have to avoid the temptation to compare and contrast, and then use those differences to spin our personal, political and social views to destroy each other.

With this being said, however, I am among many loud voices that continually state that there are still too many shootings and too much crime in our community. We should not tolerate this as a community. All evidence thus far suggests we do not.

Over the past three years I have seen the police and community in East Palo Alto strengthen its relations and work closely to implement extremely effective crime-fighting strategies.

For example, if you recall the City and community (the same leaders mentioned in your discussion) put an anti-violence march together last year. Over 1000 people attend that march. Moreover, the community is very active in its efforts to stop violence: they have put clergy on the streets, worked with at-risk youth (providing jobs and mentoring), and successfully negotiate several cease fires between rival groups and gangs.

The City government has also taken strong leadership to reduce crime and violence. Together with the community, the City Council passed Measure C which will enhance our crime-fighting efforts further. Additionally, the City and Police Department have obtained numerous grants to implement aggressive enforcement programs; a model-parole reentry program (which has already reduced recidivism dramatically), and service-based programs for at-risk youth.

Last, and definitely not least, we must also acknowledge the successfully efforts of the outstanding police officers in East Palo Alto. They have done a tremendous job despite enormous challenges and shortages. These efforts, however, could not have been accomplished without the assistance of the fine men and women of the Palo Alto Police Department, and the many other law enforcement agencies in the region.

I'm sure if we look hard enough we can probably find fault within both departments. Quite frankly, we should continually look for those faults, and then hold the Department (especially the chief) accountable to correct them. But we must also expend equal energy looking for, and acknowledging, the heroic and noble efforts these officers display daily.

In closing, we must recognize that there remains much to do and too much crime in our cities and region not to work together. However, to suggest that the East Palo Alto community's effort to ensure fairness in its treatment by all police is somehow a distraction to fighting crime is missing the point and will prove to be extremely counterproductive to our efforts.

The East Palo Alto community understands that the stronger the relationship between the police and the community, the more likely we are to reduce crime and violence.

I hope that, as caring members of two great communities, we can come together, despite our differences, and exercise true leadership in confronting the issues that divide us so that we can further reduce crime and violence.


Ronald L. Davis, Chief of Police
East Palo Alto Police Department

Like this comment
Posted by YouShouldKnow
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 7, 2008 at 2:24 am

Fairness is a good thing. So is good police work based on following the leads. Hard profiling is racially biased and targets minorities. Soft profiling has proven effective for law enforcement agencies all over the world and encompasses more than race when the data is compiled. I believe our police chief was operating under that train of thought and not under the more egregious form.

My problem hasn't been in pointing out that there was most assuredly a better way to explain this, but that it was taken to extremes and cost the woman her job. People can learn from their mistakes and often do greater good as a result.

I think it must suck to be a cop right now. A thankless job so much of the time. Well, I thank you. Keep up the good fight!

Like this comment
Posted by eparesident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 7, 2008 at 10:05 am

Chief Davis,

With so much violence in your city, why did you force the Sheriff's Office out of your town and put your own Officers' lives at risk with much less staffing? They were forced to work mandatory overtime and your Detectives are swamped with work. You had to pull your detectives from their normally duties and force them to work patrol because you're department was so understaffed. A lot of your officers have left your department since you have been the chief. Why is that? And again, why don't I see any Sheriff's Deputies in our city to help with the workload?

Like this comment
Posted by YouShouldKnow
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 7, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Epa resident? Sheriffs were forced out? I thought they left because EPA got an actual police Dept. Are there Cities that actually use two law enforcement agencies in the same geographical location? I thought one agency does unincorporated and the other, the City. Can you tell us more? I'm interested...

Like this comment
Posted by eparesident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 7, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Prior to Chief Davis being hired as Chief of Police, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office was actively involved with helping out EPA's patrol staff. Prior to that, it was the Sheriff's Office that was in charge and staffed the EPA detective bureau. For better advancement and opportunities for EPA patrol officers, the Sheriff's Office detective bureau was no longer needed as EPA patrol officers promoted and took over the bureau. However, there was a staffing shortage since some of the patrol officers got promoted. So the Sheriff's Office sent out extra Patrol Deputies to help staff patrol.

When Chief Davis got elected, it was his agenda and decision to kick the Sheriff's Office out of EPA so it shows his competency as a new Police Chief (Being able to take care of EPA without help). That's admirable. However, since he took over, several officers and sgt's left that city for other agencies. I believe 2 sgts went to the Sheriff's office and several officers went elsewhere. Its called a mass exodus. With that in mind, the patrol staff for EPA was depleted and everyone was forced to work mandatory overtime. Detectives were ordered out of their office to work the streets, making a lot of the major crimes investigation go cold without anyone investigating it because everyone was forced to patrol the streets. Vacations were cancelled and officers were forced to work 6 day weeks.

Even with the shortage of staff, the Chief did not want help from anyone. I don't understand this. From what I understand, morale in EPA PD is really bad. I have a friend who works for EPA.

Like this comment
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 7, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Morale in the PD's in BOTH Cities is bad. If you want to see what is causing that, beyond the problems that are unique to both Cities (EPA gangs and PA entitlement issues), the fault lies squarely on the Political agenda's of the higher ups in the Police Departments and the City Mayor's, Councils, and Managers. All these talking heads jumping on theoretical hot button issues that will propagate more divisiveness furthering their own particular agenda's while leaving the actual worker bees out there having to put up with additional crap because of all the discord that has been caused by the Little Tin Gods at the top. Doesn't take any superior intellect to figure all this out, just an unbiased logical viewing of the situation.

Like this comment
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 7, 2008 at 3:39 pm

Ok, I reread that....I should be honest here. Maybe I AM biased. Based on local events of the last two weeks, it has become nearly impossible NOT to feel disgust when reading about the actions (lots of negative, nothing positive) of the people at the top of both Cities. Unlike Noun Eats Moose whom I feel may reflect the attitudes of many people in this City, I actually CARE about what happens to PEOPLE...REAL PEOPLE, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT this point idealism is something to keep in mind but not make the only thing that matters.

Like this comment
Posted by YouShouldKnow
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 7, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Where there is no vision, people perish. But he that keepeth the law-
Happy is he. -Proverbs 29:18

Guess they meant that figuratively.

Like this comment
Posted by Jon
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 9, 2008 at 1:37 am

Thank you Chief Davis for your elegant words and your honesty and open communication.

I wish the best for your city, and our communities, and I hope you will continue doing all that is within your power to reduce the spike that we have seen.

Like this comment
Posted by East PaloAltan
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 10, 2008 at 9:34 am

I felt safer when Palo Alto Police were patrolling our borders until my ghetto comrades/neighbours decided to march against the profiling cops of Palo Alto. Profiling or not, it just felt safer. Besides, if you're driving legal then you have nothing to worry about if there was even profiling in existence. East Palo Alto cops just hang out at the local 7-11 living up to their "PIG" typical stereotype of doughnut consumers. So many murders in East Palo Alto and never solved or suspects ever found. East Palo Alto cops are the laziest most incompetent officers I've ever seen or run into. Yet, when one of their own got shot to death a couple of years ago, they were able to set up an all out perimeter around the town and ended up catching the suspect. Why can't they do that for the community and tax paying citizens of East Palo Alto when their innocent children and families are being shot for no reason at all?? Shows how much disregard these scumbag sorry excuses of a cop are. I love it when Menlo Park PD, San Mateo Sherriff, Palo Alto PD, CHP come in barging through our town, because at least they clean up and sweep off some of the bad guys giving us some sense of security. I've seen the East Palo Alto cops at crime scenes rushing around to leave and not taking enough info down. As a hardworking taxpaying resident of EAST PALO ALTO, I am ashamed and disgusted by our East Palo Alto Police Department who do nothing to protect us. They don't care unless another one of them fall in the line of duty.

Like this comment
Posted by East PaloAltan
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 10, 2008 at 9:42 am

Chief Davis,
You may have done these things you claim to have done. But the violence has sure excalated. Not saying you suck, but definitely the responsibility to keep us safe and root out the bad guys, is your job.

Like this comment
Posted by 2500BLK Warrior
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 13, 2008 at 5:38 pm

I was raised in EPA and lived there for 18 years. In those 18 years, Palo Alto's hatred towards EPA has never faltered and it shows clearly through this thread.

I would like to clear up a few things.

1. EPA did not force San Mateo County Sheriffs out of the city, that was a county decision that EPA did not have much say in. EPA didn't have much say primarily due to budget constraints (read as: not enough money to keep them).

2. Neither Palo Alto nor Menlo Park PD have jurisdiction in EPA. They aren't cleaning up any EPA streets, they are just joyriding.

3. So many murders in EPA? Really? Since when did 4 become a large number? Of all the years I have lived in EPA this I KNOW to be true: People in EPA can not shoot a gun to save their lives. That's why it is so rare that a person is murdered. And whenever someone actually does get shot, the shooter was lucky.

4. In regards to our "march", you don't know how many times we've had to "march". All of them were immediate reactions to some crime. That was the problem. I am glad the residents are taking time to ORGANIZE.

Like this comment
Posted by eparesident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 14, 2008 at 12:32 am

You are wrong. The Sheriff's office was in epa working patrol and helping out without getting paid by the city. The Sheriff's Office did not collect from any city budget. They were there on their own dime. And Chief Davis was adamant that he and his own force take over the city and did not want anymore help from county. And if the city was willing to pay overtime for their officers and mandate everyone to work, wouldn't it be cheaper to keep the Sheriff's office there and not pay overtime? There may be a lower homicide rate this year, but violent crime has risen. We need help and our chief needs to put his pride down and ask for some help from other agencies.

Like this comment
Posted by East PaloAltan
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 15, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Bottom line: Majority of the homicides go unsolved, don't ever get followed up on, become cold cases in the first month, etc. Yet, one of their own officers gets shot, they immediately barricade/cordone off the whole town and set perimeters to catch the culprits. Sure enough they did so and brought 'em to justice.

How many of our children have died through these senseless ghetto shootings? Are we not worthy enough for the EPAPD to set up the same perimeter/protection net they,so did. for their fellow officers. Why can't they do the same for the "weeping mother" of her murdered son or daughter whom was just an innocent bystander?

Yes, the EPA cops are slackers. Yes, we need to march some time here and there. But the East Palo Alto Police force have not given us a sense of security, do not patrol enough, and do not take initiative, responsibility, etc.

FIRE Chief Davis, would be the first step. Now he trying to act like he's been trying to do something for our community, now that he's in the spotlight of the MEDIA!! Why didn't he do so, when we really needed it without any media attention ? why Chief DAvis... Get out already!!

Like this comment
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 15, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Maybe it's time for the Governments of BOTH Cities to ... oh dare I say it? The Mantra of 2008...go for CHANGE! Adios to the old, hello to the new. They started by sacrificing ONE, perhaps they should all be thrown on the pyre!

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Paris Baguette coming to Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 21 comments | 6,950 views

Sing and celebrate
By Sally Torbey | 7 comments | 1,397 views

Surviving Family Holidays
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 456 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 23 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away more than $4 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. When you make a donation, every dollar is automatically doubled, and 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.