News

Man, 21, killed in East Palo Alto shooting

Police investigate Tuesday afternoon homicide

Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a man in East Palo Alto Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Officers responded to the 2500 block of Illinois Street at around 1:45 p.m. on reports of a shooting. Responding officers did not find a victim at that location and it was later determined that a private party had taken the victim, Jonathan Pittman of East Palo Alto, to a hospital in Redwood City, police said.

Pittman, 21, succumbed to injuries a short time later. Police are asking anyone with information to email police at epa@tipnow.org, or leave a voicemail or text a tip to the anonymous line at 650-409-6792.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by G TOWN
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 21, 2011 at 9:03 am

This was not posted yesterday.Why?I heard about it min later like every body else.Ron are you still throwing out cig butts instead of doing your job.What is your job,because your not making a difference in E.P.A.How many lives will you watch go down the drain.Almost 20 people have loss thier lives since you been here,maybe more.What can you offer to help my hood? Build a skate park thats 25 years over do.My son cant wait till it opens,I had to tell him dont get your hopes up.Sad,and ask why,because son the hood will never be what it could have been.They are to late to try and make change.WILL TAKE DECADES.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 21, 2011 at 9:45 am

G TOWN, I share your frustration with the sluggishness of improvement of conditions in EPA, but I don't think you can lay the blame or it at the feet of any one person. Fixing what is wrong will take courage, sacrifice, and selflessness from the population as a whole, or it will not happen.

And please do not attack anyone for not posting this story within 5 minutes of the event, it takes time to report the news. You knew before it was reported? Good on you, now tell the police how you knew and what you know.

Does anyone know if the police got any assistance from the people, witnesses, to help find the shooter? Or are all the witnesses afraid to speak up again? Remember that the police can not solve these crimes on their own, they need the help of the people. That's where the courage comes in.


Like this comment
Posted by SadStory
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 21, 2011 at 10:07 am

A skateboard park will not change anything, but an upbringing teaching good ethics and values will....


Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Ironic
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 21, 2011 at 10:35 am

Dam Illinois is really hot right now and another broad daylight hit dam.

RIP

@ JUSTme
courage to come forward?

I dont trust the police and I know a lot of epa citizens that dont them. Maybe if police showed more compassion to the regular citizens instead of treating us like criminals we would help. Why would I want to help the same people that harass and abuse me and my family and friends?


Like this comment
Posted by A Parent
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 21, 2011 at 11:12 am

The killer is the only one responsible for the death of this 21 year old man.
BUT... Each of us is responsible for our own behavior.
Every day each and every one of us chooses how we treat others.

Make today the day you decide to do better and to help others.
That is how our future will get better.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 21, 2011 at 11:13 am

I remember a bumper sticker when I was a kid "If you hate cops, next time you need help, call a hippie". So who are you going to call? The gang-banger down the street? So he can take care of the problem his way, and we can come here to morn the loss of another young person?

Sorry dude, the cops are your only hope, but you have to work with them, not against them. To some degree they probably feel they are in a war zone, few friends, no one talking to them, no one helping them but demanding action from them anyway. That mutual distrust needs to be broken, somehow, and it cannot come only from the cops. nothing will change until that does, and the status quo is not what we want.


Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Ironic
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 21, 2011 at 11:28 am

I dont call cops never had and never will unless I need a police report for legal reasons. I depend on me and mines. My son's grandpa (who walks with a cane) called the cops one time and they came and handcuffed him on some mistaken id BS stuff and let the bad guy get away. They only let him free when family members finally convinced the cop that the guy they handcuffed actually was the one who called.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 21, 2011 at 11:42 am

I repeat, the cops are the solution, and you need to learn to work with them. They are there for your legal problems, be that problem someone parking to block your driveway or someone breaking into your home or someone slinging lead around your neighborhood.

I am sorry your son's grandfather (is that your father) had the unforunate mistaken identity incident, but I am sure that it is more complex than can be resolved here. You need to learn to be forgiving and work with them to prevent that form happening again. Feeding the atmosphere of distrust is not going to help anything.

Winston Churchill once said "Democracy is the worst form of government on Earth, until you consider any other form." I submit that while you may hate working with the cops, any other solution is either going to be inadaquate or feed the problem. If the cops are a problem, (and they can be,) then we, as a community, need to work with them to fid the problem. But we NEED those guys, we REALLY do.


Like this comment
Posted by G TOWN
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 21, 2011 at 11:43 am

Know what?Act like you know anything about my people and way of life,strugles and risk to survive.I dont need to contribute to helping no law enforcement.They have people like you to help.Why dont you do some good and donate money towards his funeral?More than likely he did not have life insurance.See HOOD life insurance is staying ready for what ever if you know what I MEAN.Police cant protect much with lack of funds.STOP PLAYING AND survalince all hot spots,it was done to reduce crime in Detriot,and many other high crime states and some cities.I Pray that the family will get through such a rough time.R.I.P. to one mo brotha.They laughnn at us.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 21, 2011 at 11:44 am

JustMe, I also knew about the killing pretty shortly after. Do you want to know how I knew? Well, it's a small town & people know each other. Should I call the police to let them know that a law-abiding neighbor in the know told me? Why should G Town tell the cops what they knew? Granted, G Town likely lives closer to the murder scene than I do, but you make it sound like knowing something before it's reported is a crime.

Also, I really enjoy your posts, but I want to mention something. Please understand I state this respectfully:
It gets REALLY tiresome to read your commonly sweeping statements about what it'll take for EPA to have less crime, always pointing to the population as a whole. Here's an analogy so that you understand my frustration: Your stating that is like me constantly stating, every time there's a bike accident in PA, that the whole of PA needs to be involved in reducing bike accidents.

I'm involved in crime here like a fish is involved w/bicycles. Apply that analogy by the thousands & you get a more accurate picture of life here in EPA. The thugs grab the headlines by nature of their bloody deeds. Us regular folks are too busy living our lives & contributing to our community in various ways to be involved in crime or relate to the violence. I don't mean to say the violence isn't important to address, but rather, that we're not all responsible for the solution, just as it's not the job of everyone in PA to solve bike accidents.

Thanks for reading this.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm

G TOWN, your people? Are you saying they are not my people too? Please define "My people", but do not do so in racist terms, or draw religous boundaries, or use any differentiators that, if used by the police, would raise the hackles of the NAACP or the ACLU. Please don't use "here vs there" because I have lived there, big time. Please do not use economic boundaries because I have lived below the poverty level, and survived. Also, shun educational differences because if "your people" have no degree, I have no degree either.

I also have friends living in EPA who are very-much my people, and I value them dearly.

Hmmm, I appreciate your posts too. Actually, I feel we are not all that far apart. When I encouraged you to go to the police if you knew about the murder before it was reported, i was assuming that you might have usable information for them. Perhaps I misspoke.

As for you being involved with crime like fish are involved with bicycles, I think that works if people are periodically throwing bicycles into the lake with the fish. Proximity is all that is needed for involvement, not guilt. Victims and witnesses are also "involved". I am also involved because people I care about are in proximity. In fact, we are all involved because it affects us. "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."


Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Ironic
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm

@Justme

Learn forgiveness?

Wow thats rich. So Im supposed to go to them saying "Hi, yea its me the good guy who works everyday and pays the taxes that help keep you employed. I know you guys constantly harass and abuse me but I forgive you and I want to help you keep your job so you can continue to abuse and harass me and my family including my 7yr old son...here this is what i know".

If thats the world you live in great but thats not the reality I face everyday. 911 has been a joke in my town ever since I've been alive. I wish I had the rose colored lens glasses you have but they knocked them off my face and stepped on them a long time ago and most recently 2 weeks ago because....... get this "it was a slow day" so me and my son got the 4car 6guy treatment since I fit the description.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Yeah, we can easily contrast Mr. Ironic's experiences w/the police to my experiences as a white person. I don't get harassed and abused by the cops, but plenty of my black friends living legit lives do. It's unreal until you witness it yourself if you haven't experienced it. No exaggeration - it happens frequently all over the peninsula, & of course, beyond.

No need to forgive in Mr. Ironic's case - just pick your battles carefully is usually the best strategy.


Like this comment
Posted by Mr Fischer
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm

To all those that is imputting much imput on this incident, or murder. You all sound like a commitee,...why not!!!! I am a community advocate. Your posts are valid. Yes,..i was waiting for a news report,.."Palo Alto Online",..provided. Now if this guy did not have insurance hopefully someone will sell some dinners in his honor or do a car wash,.. or create a fund for the family. And last but leave,.. the next time someone gives a "STOP THE VIOLENCE",..function either donate or attend the event.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 21, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Mr Ironic, I do not know enough about you or the circumsances surrounding your alleged abuse by police, but if it did indeed happen, and happen frequently, then the problem needs examination. We are not going to diagnose or fix it here. A community meeting with the police department would be in order.

That said, I know that there are cases where people can assume they have been discriminated against when, in fact, they just did not understand all of the circumstances. I have been pulled out of my car by the police at gunpoint, but there was no discrimination I could see. I would have been wrong to assume it without evidence. I still say the police are there to help you, unless you are the criminal. But YOU may have to cut THEM a little slack, they are doing a tough job. If they act a little nervous, it probably has something to do with the number of them who have been killed doing their duty, trying to improve your lives.


Like this comment
Posted by G TOWN
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 21, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Let me share a story with who ever willing to listen.When i was a young boy I watched a happy finger by the name of officer Frost, taking a pair of GAZEL glasses from what he felt like was a drug dealer.All I remember is the cop saying get on,or your going to jail.I went home and told my grandmother what I just seen.She told me son police are people like you and me,nobody is perfect.Ok,but to me It was not that easy to except.This cop just robbed this man because he could,I LEARNED FAST NO SUCH THING AS RULES in the GAME.I played,no regrets learned alot seen to much but would not trade it in for yours,understand that.Im blessed and love my LIFE.


Like this comment
Posted by stopmakingexcuses
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 21, 2011 at 11:46 pm

I have my thoughts on what's going on in EPA...the police is not the only blame for the on going problems...everyone wants change in the community but no one is willing to help that change come about...I don't wanna cast any stones towards anyone who has lost they life in the streets of EPA but majority of these dudes are mixed up in alot of stuff and it's karma....the kid that was murdered yesterday terrorized that neighborhood with his brothers some 2-3 years ago...and his past caught up to him period...the truth is someone will seek revenge for him and then the cycle will continue...there's no sense of self in the community...a bunch of self-less individuals killing one another over nothing and thinking that's cool.....I agree that these isolated areas need to be policed daily...make these dudes feel uncomfortable ...force them out...this is the 2nd killing on the same block in 2 months...this kids brother was killed on the same street 2 years ago....I feel for the parents...kids raising kids...parents need to step up..teenage pregnancy is in most cases the blame for these single parent homes and lack of guidance for these kids...the policeneed to do their jobs...but it starts first in the homes..parents need to encourage their kids to stay in school and to know their self worth as a human...


Like this comment
Posted by To G Town
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2011 at 12:08 am

While I didn't live in EPA back then, I knew Ofcr Frost via volunteer work I did in the community. Dude was bad! He was the one busted for selling weapons out of the back of his patrol car.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2011 at 9:13 am

"Dude was bad! He was the one busted for selling weapons out of the back of his patrol car."

You can't judge all cops by that idiot. The police are STILL a large part of the answer to the problems of EPA. Ya buy a bunch of apples and one is rotten, so you throw that one away. The rest are still good.

Have you seen "City of God"? It is based on a true story, and it shows life in place that makes EPA look real good. But watch that and ask yourself how things came to that. Who sets the rules there and is that really a good idea? Where are the cops, what role do they play, and is that good? Do we want EPA to move towards that, or away from it? What people and situations exist there that also exist in EPA, and do we want them? There are some tough questions to be answered, but they need to be asked.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2011 at 9:22 am

"....the kid that was murdered yesterday terrorized that neighborhood with his brothers some 2-3 years ago"

I was thinking that I should ask about him and the circumstances behind his death. It stuck me that there was probably a LOT more to the story than we had been told.

Mind you, there is no excuse for killing another human like that, no matter who he was or what he did. It is fundamentally wrong to take it upon yourself to deal "justice" like that. In Camelot King Arthur says "Revenge, the most worthless of all causes." Revenge begets revenge, the cycle goes around, everyone suffers, and no good is done. The way to break that cycle is to enforce the rule of law on everyone, including ourselves, and that means letting, helping, the police to do their jobs. Any other solution just perpetuates the violence, and then you wonder why it's so bad.


Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Ironic
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2011 at 9:29 am

@stopmakingexcuses

you are so right. seems like time just caught up to them and I just found out last night thats my homies thats locked up little brother.
RIP but stuff like that happens when you're living that life.

Web Link
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by G TOWN
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2011 at 10:00 am

What go around,come a round if you stay around.But you almost right.I was born in it not sworn in it,so some bumps were in the road.Never.Ignorant.Getting.Goals.Acomplished.The police cant help.The aproach is modern day slavery.Help us catch the bad guys,remind me of being in 3rd grade watching Roots.Im sorry for giving you understanding thats hard to take in .Who wants to be known for snitchn?Not those cut from a rare cloth,and let me remind you from this cloth is only strings left.So I understand why, when you dont.You have to want more and better for yourself in order to make a change.Some broken homes created strong backbones,Not having a dad made me a loving DAD and Husband.I lost most of my child hood friends in one way or another.I was in line and could feel it,scary when death is calling.Im blessed.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm

G TOWN, now I am going to get personal on you.

First off, please learn to type properly with all capitalization, punctuation, and spacing. You need a space between your period and the start of the next sentance in most of your postings. I am not saying this to be mean, I am honestly trying to help you. So much in this world depends on being an effective communicator, and hard-to-read messages are not as effective as properly typed ones. They are hard on the eyes. You have the brains, you have definitely things to say that are of value, now make it easier for other to read them. Learning to do that better can only help you, not hurt you. Please, for your sake.

I am also going to claim identification with you on something: You say that you are a loving dad and husband, and it makes me want to shake your hand. I swear, the kids are where it is at, be that dad and don't EVER let it go.

And I am going to disagree with you on the police. It is not good enough that the police can't work, we have to find a way to MAKE it work. What does it take to improve that relationship and make it work. If there is a problem with the police, how do we fix it? If there is a problem with you, how do we fix it? Street justice is a dead-end, including for your kids. We cannot let that continue.


Like this comment
Posted by G TOWN
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Thank you.


Like this comment
Posted by PRAYER TOWER
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm

It's time for the Clergy and people of God to take back the streets, with tent REVIVALS and door to door witnessing. It's going to take God and some true HolyGost christians to Pray this death angel out of East Palo Alto.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Have at it, Prayer Tower, but don't come knocking on my front door.


Like this comment
Posted by wishin things could end
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm

People are going to say what they want But none of yall new Jonathan or what he went threw his brother died two year ago and from there jonathan went to jail, so for the person that said him and his brother was doin thing around the city, yall dont no for sure, you Just goin off what ya heard and everything u hear isnt the truth. I feel sorry for everyone we lost in epa. But i blame it on people u hang around, where u live. People killin over nothin, what happen to da days where people would fight. But it is bigger Than joanthan and his brother, let go back to where it started, at a club and joanthan or his brother wasnt there they was put n da shit. I wish everything could go back to like 2000 But the shit is goin to keep goin cuz nobody like the fact that someone they care about is gone .


Like this comment
Posted by PA Native
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm

@ G TOWN: This is Palo Alto online forum. East Palo Alto is not part of Palo Alto. In fact, it is in San Mateo County and Palo Alto is in Santa Clara County. You can't expect PA Online to post EPA incidents as fast as they would PA news.

"Go back to like 2000"? EPA has been crime-ridden since the 70s.

Why do people continue to live in EPA with its crime record? Aren't there other cities which are the same cost but more safe? Newark? San Jose?


Like this comment
Posted by To PA Native
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2011 at 1:05 am

Do some homework - EPA and PA are intertwined and EPA was redlined. There is some interesting history available online that may show you that the current different city/different county doesn't go back all of the way and that many of the old families in EPA remember this.

Who cares about Newark or SJ? When this is where peoples' families are, this is where many of them remain because of that.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 17, 2011 at 12:57 am

JustMe I think you're a cop... But I do agree with you! The police work hard to keep the community safe. The fact the some residents of EPA think like GTown it's because things are going bad the way they are. Take justice upon yourself and think that you can't be a snitch. We really need to invest in our kids, their education and ensure they are well supervised. Keep kids away from drugs it's a must! And that includes "the natural and harmless marijuana" drugs are drugs! Kids should be playing sports and going to school. I also understand the racial problem amongst us. But really people... If you hate cops and look at the mean as your enemy, to me, it's a suspicious behavior on its own. I'm not afraid to cops, I'm not afraid to talk to cops and I don't hesitate to call them whenever I need. I have nothing to say but good things about the police. I'm sorry this happened to this kid but a lot of it has to do with who he was, choices he made and people he was hanging out with. No one look for me on the streets trying to shoot me or come to my house to resolve "deals". RIP and God help his family. Hope the police can solve this case and put the responsible for this crime behind bars. Apparentely another crime happen in our community tonight. It's just sad.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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