A man who police said fired a gun into a vehicle in the parking lot of a Safeway grocery store in Palo Alto's Midtown neighborhood Friday was arrested on Wednesday night in the East Bay, police said Thursday.
The 37-year-old man from Henderson, Nevada, was pulled over by the Danville police officers as he was driving his black pickup truck in the 500 block of San Ramon Valley Boulevard at about 6:22 p.m. on Wednesday. Palo Alto detectives then took him into custody and found in the vehicle a handgun they believe was used in the shooting, according to a news release from the Palo Alto Police Department.
Detectives identified the 37-year-old man based on leads and evidence collected at the scene, including surveillance images from Safeway that detectives publicly released on Saturday, a day after the shooting.
Police say there is no indication that the Nevada resident knew the person he allegedly targeted in the shooting: A black man in his 20s or 30s in a black hooded sweatshirt who drove away from the scene. Detectives have not located the man or his vehicle.
The shooting occurred at about 9:15 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3. Palo Alto police responded to multiple calls of the shooting near the Safeway at 2811 Middlefield Road. They observed a white Lexus SUV with paper license plates and what appeared to be a shattered window leaving the area, police said. Officers tried to stop the vehicle and, after it fled, briefly pursued it before discontinuing the chase on U.S. Highway 101, where they lost sight of the Lexus.
After identifying the suspected shooter, Palo Alto detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest on Tuesday and began to actively search for him, according to the news release. The Nevada man was arrested for alleged assault with a deadly weapon involving a firearm, negligent discharge of a firearm and discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle, all felonies, according to the police.
Detectives had also determined that the suspected shooter frequents locations in Contra Costa County and the Tri-Valley area. On Wednesday, working closely with the Walnut Creek Police Department's Special Enforcement Team and the Danville Police Department, officers located the alleged shooter driving in Danville, police said. They conducted an enforcement stop and arrested him, pursuant to the warrant.
Santa Clara County online inmate records on Thursday showed the 37-year-old man is being held at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Detectives are still hoping to locate the man targeted in the shooting so that they could determine if he was injured and to more fully understand the circumstances of the Safeway confrontation, according to the news release.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by text message or voicemail 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.
Editor's note: The Weekly's policy is to withhold the names of those arrested for most crimes until the District Attorney has determined there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case. See our guidelines here.