News


Police searching for gunman, targeted driver in Midtown shooting

Two men involved in confrontation at Safeway parking lot

Update on Thursday, Aug. 9.: Police have arrested a man in connection with an Aug. 3 shooting outside the Safeway parking lot. Read the story here.

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Police have released an image of a man wanted for a shooting outside the Safeway in Palo Alto's Midtown neighborhood, where he fired shots at a driver who fled the scene and led officers on a car chase to U.S. Highway 101 on Friday night, police said.

Emergency dispatchers received multiple reports of a shooting around 9:15 p.m. near Safeway, which is located at 2811 Middlefield Road, police Sgt. Wayne Benitez said.

The shooting occurred near one of two exits of the store's parking lot, he said.

Through a preliminary investigation, officers learned through witnesses that the shooter was in a confrontation with another man who was entering the driver's seat of a white Lexus SUV, police said in a news release. Detectives don't know the reason behind the confrontation or if the two men knew each other.

The shooter fired multiple rounds from a semi-automatic handgun at the Lexus as the driver sped from the scene, police said.

When officers arrived in the area, they saw the fleeing Lexus with paper license plates and what appeared to be a shattered window, police said.

The responding officers drove after the Lexus as it traveled erratically to Highway 101, where they lost sight of the vehicle, according to police.

Police have been unable to locate anyone involved in the shooting as of late Saturday morning. They don't know the whereabouts of the driver targeted in the shooting or if he was injured by the gunfire, police said. Agency officials haven't heard of anyone injured by gunfire seeking medical attention at local hospitals.

Police have released to the public an image of the alleged shooter as seen on Safeway's security video footage. He is described as a muscular white man in his 30s or 40s seen wearing a black tank top and a black baseball cap worn backward. He also has thin tattoos, possibly of tribal bands or barbed wire, around both biceps.

The driver targeted in the shooting was described as a black man in his 20s or 30s seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, according to police. Investigators said they are concerned about his welfare and want to check if he is receiving medical treatment for injuries, if any, from the shooting. Investigators have additionally released an image of the white Lexus he drove.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Comments

6 people like this
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 4, 2018 at 12:16 am

I always thought the midtown Safeway was a little grimy, but wow.


9 people like this
Posted by Tim
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 4, 2018 at 6:21 am

Muggings, shootings in expensive Palo Alto...wow!


31 people like this
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 4, 2018 at 8:07 am

Tim, Palo Alto follows San Francisco's trend of becoming more expensive yet more dangerous every year. I don't know how that's sustainable.


15 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 4, 2018 at 9:50 am

Possibly attributable to a verbal altercation or an attempted mugging. Since a number of people are packing heat these days, not surprising anymore regardless of the locale.

That Safeway/7-11 area along Middlefield & Colorado will always pose a potential problem as both stores are open 24 hours & provide a convenience in terms of 'quick stop' shopping for both PA residents & outsiders alike. As a result, it becomes a hub of sorts...for both legal & illegal activity.

Alcohol sales/access & the presumed availability of customer cash on hand are always incentives for potential crimes along with the parking lot 'dealing' of various substances.












10 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 4, 2018 at 10:00 am

Another media outlet seemed to indicate they fled at very high speed onto 101 and the description confused me: said Charleston Rd onto 101, but went north....can only get on SB there.
Paper license plates, so untraceable except for description of vehicle. I think cars without front license plates (like some fancy cars) and new (or stolen, possibly) cars with paper plates should face extra scrutiny or something, get pulled over, because these criminals like these here are examples of getting away with crime just this way. If I went around w/o a front plate on my regular car I’d get in trouble, but don’t Teslas do this?!
Are there high quality surveillance cameras at the 24 hour Safeway and 7-11? Would help if the City required these for 24 hour stores, whichbare known to invite crime.


52 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 4, 2018 at 10:38 am

mauricio is a registered user.

The faster Palo Alto is urbanized and densified, the faster the crime rate grows. Downtown is dangerous, especially at night, although muggings now happen even in broad daylight. House break-ins are a daily occurrence, bank robberies are common, now shootings. [Portion removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 4, 2018 at 12:37 pm

More information has become available. Awaiting an update to this article.
I wonder whether this Safeway shopper used his club card?
I did happen to drive by on Middlefield around 10pm.
Obviously something out of the ordinary going on.
Looking forward to Tuesday evening downtown National Night Out.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 4, 2018 at 12:49 pm

... and the update has just appeared, 12:45p.


Like this comment
Posted by Sutter Avenue Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2018 at 12:53 pm

>>>I wonder whether this Safeway shopper used his club card?

What difference would that make? *scratching head*


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 4, 2018 at 12:55 pm

If the shopper used his club card or his credit/debit card, Safeway should be able to help police identify the shoppers. If they used cash, not so much so.


Like this comment
Posted by Sutter Avenue Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2018 at 1:05 pm

>>>If the shopper used his club card or his credit/debit card, Safeway should be able to help police identify the shoppers. If they used cash, not so much so.

What makes you think the gunman was a shopper at Safeway?

So let's interrogate all of the legitimate shoppers using various cards while the guy with the paper license plates gets away.

Even Columbo wouldn't buy into this approach.


5 people like this
Posted by Sutter Avenue Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2018 at 1:53 pm

Curious. Why were the police chasing the black guy in the Lexus who was shot rather than actively pursuing the alleged shooter who appears to be white?

In retrospect, it might be prudent to check if the shooter was using a Safeway Club Card.


30 people like this
Posted by JR McDugan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 4, 2018 at 2:03 pm

JR McDugan is a registered user.

Sutter Avenue Resident, the police chased the vehicle because it fled the scene. Whether the driver was black, white, or was a self-driving car is irrelevant, if you speed away from the scene of a shooting, the police are going to attempt to pull you over. Your post needlessly defames the Palo Alto PD and you owe them an apology for implying their actions had anything to do with the race of the victim.


Like this comment
Posted by Sutter Avenue Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2018 at 2:20 pm

>>>Sutter Avenue Resident, the police chased the vehicle because it fled the scene. Whether the driver was black, white, or was a self-driving car is irrelevant, if you speed away from the scene of a shooting, the police are going to attempt to pull you over. Your post needlessly defames the Palo Alto PD and you owe them an apology for implying their actions had anything to do with the race of the victim.

Maybe the driver fled because he was scared, injured and unarmed. Meanwhile the active shooter gets away. Ironic regardless of color.

A no-win scenario except for maybe the shooter.




7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 4, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Sutter Road

I think you should reread the article. The white guy was the shooter and he had shopped in Safeway. Both the shooter and the victim fled the scene which seems doubly worrying. Who runs away from the scene if they have been shot?

If I had been in the store at the time and used my credit card and club card I would have expected to be asked by the police for my details even if I hadn't witnessed the crime. It is called good policing to check on everyone in the vicinity of a crime so that the good guys can be eliminated from their inquiries. Don't you watch tv cop shows?


4 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 4, 2018 at 3:17 pm

Thanks for posting the photo.
Investigate, find them, arrest them, convict them and lock them the heck up. No one needs people so stupid and mentally disturbed that they have to engage in gunplay in public. Lock'em up!

Interesting that there is a book out now called "Fast Food Genocide" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman that talks about how the proliferation of junk food, and processed foods are not only making people physically ill but they work on the mind too, in most cases making people more violent and less able to think clearly. The example we should have learned from was pellagra in the southern US. This is a real fascinating book that I recommend.


73 people like this
Posted by Midtown Marine
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2018 at 3:27 pm

I was shopping at Safeway when this occurred. I did not see anything, however was in the parking lot to witness the parking lot chaos. My hats off to the female officer. She was first to arrive and immediately took command. At the time, I thought it was odd that she was sent alone ( I did not know about the car chase.) In my younger years as a Marine, the bigger the man, the better. I chuckled wondering how this young lady planned on handling the mess. Well, this old man was proven wrong. She remained calm even with all the yelling. When her calvery arrived she immediately began to dishout tasks to them. She even stopped to Yell out to myself and the rest of the penguin shoppers what her plan was. As, I drove past her, I complimented her on what a great job she did as a lady officer. I didnt expect a response because she was so busy , but she yelled out to me she works hard to be a good POLICE officer who happens to be a lady. So Ms. Officer, this old Marine wants you to know he heard you loud and clear!! And I will never make that mistake again! To the rest of the force, good job. Ignore the negative comments. They are probaly the ones running in the opposite direction of shooting while you guys ran to it!


18 people like this
Posted by Why am i not surprised
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2018 at 3:52 pm

Funny how the victim is being blamed for being shot at and getting the heck outta there because bullets are flying over his head. No one is really talking about the suspect who actually did the shooting.Somehow for strange reasons i guess he'll be in the right.I'm curious how many of you would hang around and wait for the Police while bullets are being shot into your car.


36 people like this
Posted by Ben Dover
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Wow whoever refers to midtown Safeway as "grimey" is sheltered and oblivious. Palo Alto and the majority of the peninsula is hands down the least grimey portion of the whole bay area.. This kinda shit happens all the time in the rest of the bay area, then it happens once in Palo Alto and the residents automatically get the idea their community is so dangerous... Typical


3 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 4, 2018 at 5:56 pm

QUOTE: Curious. Why were the police chasing the black guy in the Lexus who was shot rather than actively pursuing the alleged shooter who appears to be white?

QUOTE: Funny how the victim is being blamed for being shot at and getting the heck outta there because bullets are flying over his head. No one is really talking about the suspect who actually did the shooting.

Kind of makes you wonder...but I guess one had to actually be there to get the full drift of the situation.


2 people like this
Posted by Why no club card
a resident of Ventura
on Aug 4, 2018 at 6:59 pm

The guy walked out of the store with stuff he didn’t pay for. That’s why he sped away.


1 person likes this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 4, 2018 at 9:06 pm

Semi-automatic? Must have found spent shell casings. And not divulging the caliber.
Detectives will catch him. Courts will let him go. Lather, rinse, repeat.


12 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2018 at 10:26 pm

My husband took one look at the white Lexus SUV and said that it was an older RX model -- between 1999 and 2003.

I asked him why someone driving such an old vehicle would have a paper license plate. He said that it's possible that the vehicle could have been recently purchased from a used car dealership or that the person had recently moved into California and was awaiting new tags. Otherwise, he said it could simply be an attempt to use a paper license plate to avoid police notice (including non-registration ticket).

Do we know if the victim was uninjured? I hope that he wasn't shot and somehow pulled off some place and was incapacitated because of his injuries. I read about someone who was shot during a robbery but refused to seek help because of an outstanding warrant.


Like this comment
Posted by Hm
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 4, 2018 at 10:42 pm

Thoughts and prayers to the man who got shot. I do really think he fled the scene because he was scared of further consequences, especially by what an enraged man could do to him. (and, I think he was afraid of the police , maybe fearing that he would be blamed for the incident)

Obviously case still muddy. I hope that there will be justice served. Stay safe there, folks. Sometimes it’s better to just walk away from a dispute. You never know who is on edge,


1 person likes this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 4, 2018 at 11:02 pm

Does anyone know why this safeway is open 24 hours?


22 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 5, 2018 at 12:33 am

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by DTN Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 5, 2018 at 8:07 am

DTN Paul is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of another community
on Aug 5, 2018 at 10:17 am

Reality Check is a registered user.

At the time PAPD were chasing the fleeing white Lexus, they were not yet clear on whether it carried victim(s) or shooter(s). However, any time a car drives away from a crime scene and accelerates to doing 4x the speed limit on city streets to evade pursuing police cars, it suggests a consciousness of guilt that must be investigated.

An excerpt from the Post story:

"Police chased a white Lexus SUV with a smashed driver’s side window and blue paper plates. The SUV fled police at 90 mph north on Middlefield Road, west on Oregon Expressway, south on Alma Street before turning onto East Charleston Road and north on San Antonio Road, where the driver merged onto Highway 101.

"Police chased the SUV, but soon lost it on northbound Highway 101, where it was speeding over 100 mph in heavy traffic approaching University Avenue."


34 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 5, 2018 at 12:07 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comments.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 5, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Do auto body shops have a legal responsibility to report bullet holes when repairing vehicles?

If not, I would never buy a used car pocked by .38s, .45s and the like. It could be a car earmarked for later retribution by various low-lifes.


4 people like this
Posted by Dick Tracy
a resident of Triple El
on Aug 5, 2018 at 12:42 pm

The suspect's shopping cart has a flat-top bottle of blue liquid. Can somebody identify it? Grocery stores don't sell very many blue liquids. Do other camera frames show more of the cart contents? Can they match those contents to a checkout record? Did the suspect pay with a card? Is there a name associated with the card?


11 people like this
Posted by No Real Answer
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 5, 2018 at 1:34 pm

>>>Why were the police chasing the black guy in the Lexus who was shot rather than actively pursuing the alleged shooter who appears to be white?

Standard Operating Procedure?


12 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 5, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]




1 person likes this
Posted by The Polarization of America
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 5, 2018 at 3:09 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


21 people like this
Posted by hypocrites
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 5, 2018 at 3:18 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


2 people like this
Posted by @Sanctimonious Poster
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 5, 2018 at 4:59 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


Like this comment
Posted by Vasche LaMou
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 5, 2018 at 5:07 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


4 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 5, 2018 at 5:31 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


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

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