News


Safeway shooter says he was trying to stop a liquor thief

'Good Samaritan' against suspected thief now faces felonies in August incident

A Nevada man who admitted he shot at a fleeing vehicle after the occupants left the Midtown Safeway in Palo Alto on Aug. 3 said he was attempting to stop the occupants after they allegedly took several cases of expensive liquor and left without paying, according to court records. But now he faces three felonies and a misdemeanor after police tracked him down through information he left after paying for his groceries.

Christian David Poppe, 37, allegedly pulled a 9 mm pistol out of a holster hidden in his pants and fired four shots at a white Lexus SUV occupied by at least two people who allegedly stole liquor as they left the store parking lot at 2811 Middlefield Road. He had first tried to stop the driver by standing in front of the vehicle, which he claimed had tried to run him over. The driver of the car fled the scene at a high rate of speed and evaded capture after leading police in a pursuit that at times exceeded 90 mph on city streets and more than 100 mph on U.S. Highway 101.

Poppe, of Henderson, Nevada, is charged with willful discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, shooting at an inhabited dwelling or vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon or great bodily injury -- all felonies -- and misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon on a person. He is scheduled to appear in Santa Clara County Superior Court in Palo Alto on Jan. 29 to enter a plea.

Court documents provide insight into modern police work using various technologies to quickly identify a suspect and track him down. Police arrested Poppe on Aug. 8 in Danville, five days after the incident. Currently, he is out of custody on $100,000 bail.

The night had started out in mundane fashion, with Poppe entering the store at around 9:30 p.m. He spent 27 minutes shopping for about $57 worth of groceries, which included fresh greens, tomatoes, multigrain bread and chicken tenders, according to court documents.

But at the time he was shopping, another man also entered the store. Witnesses saw the man fill crates with various expensive bottles of liquor, which he left on a table at the back of the store. He carried out two boxes at a time without paying, then returned and repeated his activities, making an estimated three trips, according to store surveillance video.

Poppe left the store, and he noticed the man, who was carrying the boxes to his white Lexus SUV, had left without paying. He approached the car, noticing the rear hatch was open. The trunk space was filled with liquor bottles, he told police.

The man shut the hatch and entered the passenger side of the vehicle, which was being driven by a woman wearing a pink shirt. Poppe said he stood in front of the vehicle and shouted for them to stop. Instead, the driver lunged forward and struck him, causing Poppe to fall backwards, he said. He drew his gun from a holster in his pants. Poppe said at this point he had tunnel vision, focusing only on the car and not the consequences. He believed he was acting in self-defense, he told police. The female driver "floored it" and "tried to run me over," after which point he fired his gun at the front windshield.

A witness at the Chase bank ATM across the street was just entering her car when she saw a man, later identified by police as Poppe, hold up his hand as if to say "don't run me over." He then put both hands on the handgun and fired at the vehicle, which was coming head on at him, according to court documents. Orange sparks emitted from the gun as he fired. He was standing in the driveway and may have dodged backwards to avoid being struck, she recalled.

The man allegedly tucked the gun in his waistband and walked back toward the store where several people had gathered. A witness said the man, who was wearing a Las Vegas Raiders hat, looked "stunned." Witnesses recalled hearing the man say the driver tried to hit him.

When the man walked to his truck, a parked in the middle row of stalls spaces close to Middlefield Road, a female witness admonished him, according to court documents.

"That was stupid, didn't your mother ever teach you to walk away from trouble, not start it?" she said.

Meanwhile, the liquor-laden Lexus drove away at a high rate of speed -- so fast that the car's undercarriage set off sparks as it struck the driveway, witnesses told police. The car swerved into oncoming southbound lanes on Middlefield Road as it sped north.

Two police officers on the lookout for the vehicle were traveling east on Oregon Expressway. They saw the Lexus pull out in front of them, jump the median and come back onto the road. The driver, a male wearing a black baseball cap turned backward and a dark shirt, made a U-turn on Bryant Street. One of the officers noted the driver's side window was smashed, he said in court papers.

The officers pursued the Lexus as it drove west on Oregon Expressway and turned south onto Alma Street. The car accelerated at more than 90 mph and swerved right to left. The Lexus turned east onto East Charleston Road, at one point going around a car in the left-turn lane. The driver ran a red light and turned east onto San Antonio Road, then entered the northbound Highway 101 on-ramp.

The vehicle nearly collided with several cars on the ramp before entering the freeway, according to court documents. Once on the freeway, the Lexus sped at more than 100 mph, swerving in and out of traffic and then exited at Embarcadero Road. Officers lost sight of the SUV and terminated the pursuit, they said.

Looking for a shooter

Police used surveillance footage from inside the Safeway to send out alerts to other law enforcement agencies the next day. Belmont police quickly identified the victim as a prolific liquor thief who steals throughout the Bay Area. At the time, he had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest and a warrant for an undisclosed felony from Pittsburg stemming from a 2017 case. He was last registered as an Oakley resident. Police there checked his known residences but did not see the SUV, according to court papers. As of Jan. 3, the alleged thief has not been arrested, Palo Alto police spokeswoman Janine De la Vega said.

Palo Alto investigators obtained a search warrant for Safeway's corporate office for the alleged shooter's Safeway Club card, which they learned was in his parents' names. A search for information from his Bank of America credit card used at Safeway revealed his name to be Christian David Poppe.

Police also found Poppe's Bank of America card was used at the Shell gas station on Embarcadero Road at 11:27 a.m. on the day of the shooting. Obtaining the station's closed-circuit television footage, police confirmed that Poppe was driving a large, black, Chevy Silverado double-cab pickup truck, as witnesses had described. Investigators traced the truck using Google Maps to a location in Henderson, Nevada.

Investigators also searched law-enforcement databases and social media pages for information about Poppe. A Facebook account with his picture appeared to be the same person in the surveillance footage. At Palo Alto police's request, Henderson police did a visual check of all addresses listed for Poppe but they did not locate the black truck, according to the court documents.

Witnesses had described Poppe, who is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 205 pounds, as highly muscular, as though he worked out. Surveillance video showed he had tattoos of barbed wire around each bicep. On Aug. 8, police checked local 24 Hour Fitness facilities to see if Poppe was a member. The facilities are connected across the country through their database, police said in court papers.

The manager at the Mountain View location confirmed that Poppe was a member and had recently visited multiple Bay Area locations. Poppe checked in at Redwood City on Aug. 4 and at the Walnut Creek 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport gym on Aug. 6. Surveillance footage from the Walnut Creek location showed Poppe checking in, and as he entered and left the parking lot where police were able to obtain images of his license plate.

Police entered the license plate number into the system with a "felony stop, armed and dangerous" notice for all law-enforcement agencies. Detectives placed a license-plate-reader alert into police databases to track the truck's whereabouts.

Recent hits on the plate showed that Poppe had been in Walnut Creek. On Aug. 8, investigators notified Walnut Creek and Danville police of Poppe's warrant and the likelihood that he was still in the area. Danville police later located Poppe in his truck and took him into custody without incident.

A remorseful, would-be hero

Poppe cooperated with police, court records show, even providing them with the code to the locked gun safe in his truck bed where the weapon was stored. A Glock 9 mm handgun was in a holster designed to be worn inside of pants, as witnesses had described. A 10-round magazine next to the gun had seven unspent bullets. If he had one round in the chamber and fired four rounds, seven remaining rounds was consistent with the number of leftover rounds after the shooting, police noted.

Police also obtained Poppe's cellphone that contained conversations in the WhatsApp messaging application and discovered he had texted a girlfriend about the shooting.

Poppe told police that he had never been in a situation such as this before. He said he left the scene because he was a bit scared and unsure of what to do. He consulted with a friend who is an air marshal and drove back toward the scene from a friend's house where he was staying, but he left after seeing the police cars.

Poppe's case is an example of how situations can rapidly escalate, even when one's intentions are good. He decided to intervene because he doesn't like people who "steal, break the law and take advantage of other people," he told police. He felt like he needed to tell the people taking the liquor that they had to pay for it. He did not consider what would happen afterwards, he said.

He hoped the alleged shoplifters would just stop when he intervened, and he regretted being "a Good Samaritan." He said he had made "a huge mistake."

He did not know at the time if he had hit anyone, but was focused on the SUV coming at him, he told police.

"At the time I felt it was justified and it was right, and now I just feel really stupid, and I wish none of this ever happened. But I feel like if I was a police officer, a police officer would have done the same thing," he said.

Asked by police if he considered that he might end up taking someone else's life over a basic shoplift, he said he hadn't thought about it. "I felt like I was protecting myself. I mean, I didn't try to hit someone with a car. I just didn't think they would try to run me over."

He also did not consider that the shoplifter might have had a gun, he said. At the time, even without his handgun, he said he would have intervened because he believed it was the right response. But in hindsight, he would have stayed out of the situation, he told police.

Poppe has a degree in security management and as gone through executive-protection training. The gun was one he had purchased for the executive protection class, he told police. He has a concealed-carry permit from Florida and also had one in Nevada, which he let lapse. He also has a record of felony arrests for undisclosed offenses, but he was able to get the concealed-weapon permit because they were knocked down to misdemeanors, he told police.

In California, 35 out of 58 counties allow some concealed carry permits as of January 2018, but cities within these counties can be stricter. Some counties don't allow permits for concealed weapons at all. California does not allow reciprocity, meaning that concealed weapon permits issued in other states are not allowed, according to state law. Non-residents can't obtain a concealed weapon permit in the state. As of Jan. 1, Californians seeking to carry a concealed weapon must have at least eight hours of safety training.

In Palo Alto, the police chief makes the decisions regarding concealed weapon permits. To be considered for a permit, one must be a Palo Alto resident, at least 21 years old, be free from criminal convictions that would disqualify the applicant from carrying a firearm, submit to fingerprinting and a background check, be of good moral character, have at least three letters of character reference, show good cause for the issuance of the license, be free from any psychological conditions that might make the applicant unsuitable for carrying a firearm and complete required training.

Santa Clara County does consider concealed weapon permits, but there are restrictions.

---

Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

63 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2019 at 1:12 am

As much as I hate thieves and criminals, this was an extremely stupid thing to do. Unless someone's life or body is in danger, it is better to let the authorities handle such situations. This man could have been killed by the thieves. Moreover, his bullet (probably shot in self-defense) could have easily ricocheted and struck an innocent bystander.

Still, I think that three felony charges might be a bit much. I don't know if charging the man with felonies (or convicting him) would solve anything.

I wonder if the thieves will ever be caught. The driver could be charged with a crime for attempting to run down the would-be hero (in addition to their crimes of theft). I would make an assumption that they were guilty of something else too (hence their attempt to possibly run over someone -- and risk life and limb through crazed driving when escaping from police).


103 people like this
Posted by JR McDugan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 4, 2019 at 7:55 am

JR McDugan is a registered user.

Sorry, three felony chargers isn't sufficient. This individual decided to fire four shots in the parking lot of a crowded supermarket, across the street from a church, school, park, toddler gym, and ice cream parlor. It is extreme negligence that could have gotten a young child killed. He should have been charged with attempted murder - that's what firing four shots at an occupied vehicle amounts to.

Kudos to the female witness - "That was stupid, didn't your mother ever teach you to walk away from trouble, not start it?". There were no heroes in this story, only two villains -- one robber and one attempted murderer.


32 people like this
Posted by Intuition & Profiling
a resident of another community
on Jan 4, 2019 at 8:31 am

It was reckless and totally irresponsible to take the law into one's own hands. Palo Alto isn't 19th century Dodge City.

On the other hand, it is also unfortunate that the liquor thieves got away and created a serious safety threat on the roadways.

The management at Safeway is also responsible for this incident occurring by not intervening during the theft itself. That the thieves were able to walk out of the store carrying boxes of liquor without paying raises a few red flags as well.

Another example of where security/theft protection profiling might have come in handy based on the recorded images of the thieves via the surveillance cameras. Chances are, they fit a typical 'profiled' description.

As mentioned earlier, some 'red states' allow 'open carry' of firearms and this Nevada shooter should not have been carrying in CA without the appropriate permits.

In retrospect, he probably wishes he had alerted store management rather than taking matters into his own hands...and ironically, the thieves got away.


82 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2019 at 10:02 am

As a frequent Safeway customer this really scared me. Guns scare me. I do not wish to ever encounter a Wild West Shootout while I am buying groceries.

Anyone with guns have no rights to shoot them in public places. The fact that an innocent bystander, or two, could have been shot is high and if someone else had had a gun too, or the thieves themselves, the likelihood that this could have turned into a bloodbath is very real.


15 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 4, 2019 at 10:48 am

[Post removed.]


123 people like this
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 4, 2019 at 10:58 am

Well it takes a "good guy" with a gun to become an idiotic trigger happy buffoon. One that hopefully will be made an example of. This is the mayhem we invite by all these citizens toting guns and being vigilantes. This cracks me up.


10 people like this
Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2019 at 11:01 am

Gethin is a registered user.

"Belmont police quickly identified the victim as a prolific liquor thief who steals throughout the Bay Area. At the time, he had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest and a warrant for an undisclosed felony from Pittsburg stemming from a 2017 case"

So what charges were filed against him?

As for the shooter, good work by the PD.


55 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2019 at 11:54 am

Novelera is a registered user.

Sounds like a case of serious testosterone poisoning on the part of the would-be Good Samaritan. I'm sorry to reveal my prejudices here. But someone who has a history of working in "security", whatever that means and apparently spends a lot of time "pumping iron" at multiple gyms already makes me suspicious. And then we add in three felony charges.


40 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 4, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Previous felony arrests.
Previous convictions.
A cop-wannabe who couldn't make it (always the worst.)
[Portion removed.]
And he puts himself in a situation where he somehow thinks the correct choice is to open fire in crowds?!?

Good heavens! Adjudicate and lock this bozo up, rehabilitate him! Certainly, he should not be allowed access to firearms. Ever.

He has failed the course Militia 101.


72 people like this
Posted by good guy with a gun
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 4, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Self-described good guy with a gun and no training on how to use it. What could go wrong?


16 people like this
Posted by allen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2019 at 1:04 pm

OK, I hate the fact too many people have guns. Having a gun makes you unsafe as this guy found out with his three felony charges to defend himself against. I personally took all my guns to the PA Police who were not very happy to get them but that was a long time ago. Guns do not make you safe. I am in favor of the 2nd amendment but only for a well regulated militia like for example the National Guard. That said, I would vote NOT GUILTY if I were on the jury for this guy. He was trying to do the right thing, was fearing for his life, and shot at the car in self defence. The police might as well drop the charges and save taxpayers the expense of the trial as far as I am concerned.


66 people like this
Posted by good guy with a gun
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 4, 2019 at 1:38 pm

@allen - he fired 4 shots wildly in a busy retail/residential area because of a shoplifting incident. He could very easily have killed an innocent bystander. A properly trained gun owner would never have put himself in a situation like that. No innocent people were in danger before this perp pulled out his gun (like an armed robbery or kidnapping in progress). He didn't have to jump in front of the SUV and he could have jumped out of the way just as easily as pulling out his gun and firing in a public parking lot. All the risk was started by him. I don't know the difference between each charge against him, but based on the crime report so far, I would vote guilty on most of those charges.


70 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2019 at 1:49 pm

JHC on a pogo stick. I shop at this Safeway all the time. The rightwing (social) media has brainwashed too many people to believe they need to carry a weapon for 'self protection'. Our system of background checks is so porous you could drive a Mac truck through it. Does someone really need to get seriously injured or killed over a petty theft? Let's face it. The insanity of our gun laws is a national disgrace. This guy needs to have all his weapons confiscated and never be allowed to purchase (or legally posses) one again. Maybe a few days in jail too...


25 people like this
Posted by Catch The Thief As Well
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 4, 2019 at 2:07 pm

> "Belmont police quickly identified the victim as a prolific liquor thief who steals throughout the Bay Area. At the time, he had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest and a warrant for an undisclosed felony from Pittsburg stemming from a 2017 case"

So what charges were filed against him?

If the police knows the actual identity of this chronic liquor thief, why don't they arrest him as well?

Why should just the shooter be arrested?

[Portion removed.]


19 people like this
Posted by Conservative
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2019 at 2:18 pm

Sounds like an unstable lifestyle but he is clearly remorseful and it was self-defense and no one got hurt. Don’t waste our tax dollars, drop the charges. Put our tax dollars to work on undocumented immigrant criminals or rapists and child sex trafficking instead.


14 people like this
Posted by Conservative
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2019 at 2:26 pm

"That was stupid, didn't your mother ever teach you to walk away from trouble, not start it?" she said.

————————

Typical outspoken Palo Altan, thinking everyone is rational, said this to a 6’3” muscular man who just discharged a gun. We’ve got too many book smart residents, not enough street smart ones, the reason for Palo Alto’s problems with poor decisions.


4 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2019 at 2:27 pm

[Post removed.]


23 people like this
Posted by Rob
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 4, 2019 at 2:49 pm

I hope charges get dropped to at least misdemeanors. Poppe sounds like a good man who made a bad decision thinking he was being helpful.


56 people like this
Posted by Pete S Mosse
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 4, 2019 at 3:16 pm

Good guy with a gun?

Good lawdy.... Ampped up, macho, rambo wannabe, police candidate dropout (read the article) who decides he's the vigilante who should step in front of an SUV?

And then instead of taking 2 steps to safety on either side, claims self defense so he can unload in a crowded public space?

Indefensible. Take away his gun rights - he's proven he doesn't deserve them.

Giving good gun nuts a bad name. To paraphrase General Flynn - lock him up.


16 people like this
Posted by Pete S Mosse
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 4, 2019 at 3:20 pm

"Sounds like an unstable lifestyle but he is clearly remorseful and it was self-defense and no one got hurt. Don’t waste our tax dollars, drop the charges. Put our tax dollars to work on undocumented immigrant criminals..."

Unless they are clearly remorseful and no one got hurt. Drop the charges, right?

Don't waste tax dollars!

Thanks for clearing that up for us. Good principles.


35 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 4, 2019 at 3:33 pm

Poppe wasn't shooting in self-defense. Jumping out of the way of the SUV was the self-defense move that he had to take because he inserted himself into the situation. The only purpose for firing a handgun at the windshield of a moving vehicle is to kill the driver. He had no business doing this, especially in a public place. Also, the thieves in the SUV would probably not have driven 90 mph through our streets had Poppe not created such a crazy situation, which endangered the public (once again) and our police. He deserves the charges.


20 people like this
Posted by Pete S Mosse
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 4, 2019 at 3:43 pm

This guy sounds more like George Zimmerman, the more I read.

Failed police candidate/rambo fantasist inserts self in danger and then cries self defense. At least procedures to keep these guys off the force worked in two cases.

Book 'em Dano.


Like this comment
Posted by allen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2019 at 3:50 pm

@good guy with a gun. OK, good points. I change my vote to convict but I still think it will be difficult to convict him given the number of gun nuts out there. He made a terrible mistake in judgement starting with deciding to carry a gun in public. I would certainly prefer people not do that and not shoot where I shop. But I suspect more than 8.3% of the jury pool feel differently.


20 people like this
Posted by Conservative
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2019 at 4:03 pm

Monday Morning Quarterbacks, as usual, living with halos over their heads. There are much worse offenses which have resulted in violent harm to others that deserve our tax dollars. Read the data before posting knee/jerk reactions behind closed doors.

The thieves started the fiasco and should be locked away.


28 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 4, 2019 at 4:11 pm

This gun nut is lucky to be alive. Imagine if a cop or another so-called "good guy/nut with a gun" came upon him just as he started firing wildly into cars?

Gun fight at the OK Corral in the middle of town.

There are worse offenses? Duh, of course. Such as if this crazy actually hit one of the people, or worse killed someone. And this should be punished in appropriate manner - attempted murder.

What ever happened to personal responsibility?


7 people like this
Posted by Retail store policy
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 4, 2019 at 4:29 pm

This is an awful mess. I am also interested in what I often read of retail store policies to look the other way while determined criminal thieves steal lots of stuff. See: rainbow girls. Meanwhile, if a local resident tried to shoplift one item, I bet s/he WOULD be confronted/stopped/arrested!
The determined criminal thieves are skating, which puts all of us shoppers/the general public/nearby drivers at risk as these criminals are emboldened. Please, can law enforcement work with retailers to come up with an improved policy (as opposed to employees bystanding)? I think public safety is increasingly at risk as repeat criminals enjoy themselves (but we don’t want them succeeding in our community, returning, stealing, perhaps running over someone while drunk or high...)


42 people like this
Posted by JP Drum
a resident of another community
on Jan 4, 2019 at 4:41 pm

Don't forget that Poppe also fled the scene before the police arrived, so he was taking zero responsibility for what he did.


7 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 4, 2019 at 4:47 pm

>> See: rainbow girls.

I did, thank you. There's a musical group, a non-profit, and some sfgate stories from 3 or 4 years ago. Next to nothing of relevance on PA Online. What's your point?

More importantly: why is there all this "blame the victim" mentality in these postings? Blame the store, blame the bystander who chastised the idiot shooter, etc..


10 people like this
Posted by Eileen Wright
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 4, 2019 at 4:48 pm

'As much as I hate thieves and criminals, this was an extremely stupid thing to do.'

The Second Amendment of our Constitution gives all of us unlimited rights to own and use guns. There is no Constitutional right to steal things that the rest of us then have to pay for. [Portion removed] this person was completely within his Constitutional rights to use his gun to stop a crime. Our bleeding heart liberals should complain about the criminals who caused this whole commotion by acting illegally instead of this hero doing his Constitutional duty.


36 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 4, 2019 at 4:53 pm

>> this person was completely within his Constitutional rights to use his gun to stop a crime.

Really? Where does it say that? Is he part of a well regulated militia? Well, then, why didn't you say so!

Because I'm pretty sure my constitutional right to preservation of my LIFE trump his ability to open fire in public.

See: We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness


57 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2019 at 5:29 pm

I strongly disagree that this individual had the right to shoot his gun in a public place for whatever reason. There is no right in this whatsoever.

There is a little girl in Oakland who is in hospital with a gunshot wound to her head due to a fool with a gun shooting into the air to celebrate New Years.

The 2nd Amendment talks about possessing firearms. It does not talk about how a firearm may be used except as part of an organized militia.

This was not a militia, this was criminal activity with a gun. Nothing else.


1 person likes this
Posted by Jenny A
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 4, 2019 at 6:34 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names.]


15 people like this
Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 4, 2019 at 6:46 pm

R.Davis is a registered user.

BACKGROUND DETAILS...
(1) A shopper jumps in front of a fast moving vehicle in a parking lot making a getaway following a store heist and he tries to stop them from fleeing. Sounds kind of dumb but we'll continue...
(2) The thieves then try to run him down.
(3) The shopper being from a 'red state' instinctively resorts to his 'open/concealed carry sensibilities' & opens fire in an effort to prevent the thieves in the moving vehicle from hitting him & getting away with the goods.
(4) In the end, his shots are errant & the thieves get away creating havoc on the roadways while eluding law enforcement.

NOW...
(1) Had the shooter been successful in stopping the thieves without injuring any innocent bystanders, would he have been considered a hero of sorts...ala Charles Bronson?
(2) After all, the thieves have already been 'profiled' as recurrent criminals & still remain at large. To have stopped them would have been doing society and local communities a favor.

SO IN CLOSING....
(1) Is the uproar because the shooter missed his targets & is from a red state where open/concealed carry is legal?
(2) Or primarily due to the fact that being in California, he should have been aware of the local gun laws & had his weapon locked-up.
(3) It's probably a combination of both #1 & #2 but I suspect that few would feel any genuine sympathy for the recurrent thieves had they been stopped and/or apprehended.
(4) And while it is the duty & responsibility of law enforcement to stop these kinds of criminals, the thieves still managed to get away & according to the police, they have an ongoing track record of similar heists.
(5) No big loss if they were taken down...legally.

QUOTE: Palo Alto isn't 19th century Dodge City.

No, but it resembled Dodge City that particular evening in Midtown.





5 people like this
Posted by EPA Resident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2019 at 7:09 pm

I agree with Information & Profiling that Safeway needs to up their security. They do close off one of the two entrance doors in the evening but that's not enough. When I shop there after 9 pm and walk in sometimes there's no one at the registers at all. No one is even visible in the front of the store. The whole front of the store is empty because they are working on inventory. I can see how the thief probably knew what he was doing going into the store at 9:30 pm. And moving crates of liquor could have easily given others the impression he was one of the re-stocking crew. They need someone monitoring their live video camera feeds from 9 pm through 6 am every day.


17 people like this
Posted by Sleep Easy
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2019 at 7:39 pm

I can sleep easy now that I know the guy's shopping list:

fresh greens, tomatoes, multigrain bread and chicken tenders.

Sounds healthy — vegetables, grains and protein.

Thank you, P.A. weekly for publishing his shopping list, a real public service.


2 people like this
Posted by Worst moments ever
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 4, 2019 at 7:55 pm

Y'all never been near a free fire zone, easy to tell.

Dude gotta get locked up if guilty.


63 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 4, 2019 at 8:16 pm

Dear Eileen Wright,

You are very, very wrong. Your thinking is dangerous.


10 people like this
Posted by Eileen Wright
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 4, 2019 at 10:39 pm

'This was not a militia, this was criminal activity with a gun.'

The Constitution gives us the right to keep and bear arms. The Suprem Court says so too. That means we have the right to use our arms. If the goverment takes something from us like the right to use the guns we have the right to bear it has to pay us compensation. That's in the Constitution too. It makes no sense for the goverment pay this individual to not to stop a crime, whatever the liberals say. The same goes for anybody else. We have the right to bear arms and so we have the right to use them too. Thank God for our President Trump.


8 people like this
Posted by Aisha
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2019 at 12:15 am

Safeway doesn't care
about their workers, so why would the workers care for Safeway. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to put my life on the line as a Safeway employee for $15 an hour subtract the union dues and Uncle Sam. Safeway barely wants to give hours to their employees especially after the holidays. Next time your in Safeway ask any of the checkers about it.


6 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 5, 2019 at 6:13 am

Anybody think this "prolific liquor thief" will ever return to Palo Alto?


2 people like this
Posted by Flash
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 5, 2019 at 9:13 am

Flash is a registered user.

“admitted he shot at a fleeing vehicle”

No:

“which he claimed had tried to run him over”


10 people like this
Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 5, 2019 at 9:18 am

R.Davis is a registered user.

QUOTE: The Constitution gives us the right to keep and bear arms. The Supreme Court says so too.

True...but there are also local/state ordinances that govern & oversee this practice. Some red states allow 'open carry' & firing shots in the public domain as a form of personal protection, others don't.

QUOTE: Don't forget that Poppe also fled the scene before the police arrived, so he was taking zero responsibility for what he did.

Agreed. At the risk of getting arrested, he should have stuck around to explain his motives & actions.

Wondering...Had the guy been a better shot, he might have at least hit the front grille of the oncoming vehicle which would have punctured its radiator & eventually disabled the car due to overheating...then law enforcement could have apprehended the thieves later down the road.

If he was shooting at them from behind, they naturally got away...we see that all the time in TV/movies. This particular type of random/errant shooting is what creates the hazard many here are addressing.


37 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 5, 2019 at 9:20 am

>> That means we have the right to use our arms.
>> If the goverment (sic) takes something from us like the right to use the guns we have the right to bear it has to pay us compensation.
>> That's in the Constitution too.
>> It makes no sense for the goverment (sic) pay this individual to not to stop a crime, whatever the liberals say.
>> We have the right to bear arms and so we have the right to use them too.

That's quite the fabulous word salad, almost Trumpian in it's incoherence. Almost.

I'll ask again: please highlight where in The Constitution we are allowed to "use our arms" in vigilante actions.

For bonus points, please highlight where in The Constitution where it says "takes something from us like the right to use the guns we have the right to bear it has to pay us compensation."

Those are some amazing word structures.

But yeah, please don't confuse criminal vigilantism with a "well regulated militia".


12 people like this
Posted by Under The Circumstances...
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 5, 2019 at 12:29 pm

If CA was an 'open-carry' state & I was armed...especially in the event myself (or a family member) was in imminent danger, I would have plugged these thieves. No questions asked and no big loss.

On the other hand, Safeway's merchandise is insured against shoplifting losses so to get involved in something like this was self-righteous and over-reaction on the part of the shooter (Poppe). His arrest was justified as it is reckless endangerment of others.

Unfortunately the thieves got away. Since law enforcement is already familiar with their names and previous activities, eventually they will be brought to justice.
Unless of course they get shot at by someone else. Again...no big loss.


4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 5, 2019 at 3:22 pm

^ Funny how my insurance rates go up when I make a claim.
And my rates also go up when everyone else makes claims.


2 people like this
Posted by Eileen Wright
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 5, 2019 at 4:35 pm

'or bonus points, please highlight where in The Constitution where it says "takes something from us like the right to use the guns we have the right to bear it has to pay us compensation."'

Liberals like this one never know anything about our Constitution so I'll advise a careful read of the Fifth Amendment. And I'll say thank you for comparing my 'fabulous words' with what President Trump says. Trump is the future. [Portion removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 5, 2019 at 5:14 pm

>> If the goverment (sic) takes something from us like the right to use the guns we have the right to bear it has to pay us compensation.

The 5th covers many bases, including "...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation"

You specifically said "...like the right to use the guns we have the right to bear it has to pay us compensation"

Your word salad is generally indecipherable, but clearly is not talking about specific private property (your interpretation of a right, not property: "...like the *right* to use the guns we have the *right* to bear it has to pay us compensation")

[Portion removed.]

You've been asked twice to explain how your strange understanding of our great Constitution allows criminal vigilante behavior like opening fire in a crowded public space.

>> this person was completely within his Constitutional rights to use his gun to stop a crime.


7 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 5, 2019 at 6:39 pm

Make it more simple for you...

>> this person was completely within his Constitutional rights to use his gun to stop a crime.

Shooting through a windshield is not stopping a crime, it is attempted murder (self defense doesn't apply - he stepped INTO danger just so he could insert his 'roid raged will, with his testosterone fueled body; see the PA Daily article.)

Where in our great Constitution did it appoint this criminal gun nut as judge, jury and executioner?


32 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 6, 2019 at 10:19 am

mauricio is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by Under the Circumstances
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 6, 2019 at 1:30 pm

> Where in our great Constitution did it appoint this criminal gun nut as judge, jury and executioner?

Only law enforcement (during the commission of a crime) and the military (in time of war) are entitled to those privileges.

Ordinary citizens do not have that right...although various gang members frequently overlook this factor.

The Idaho 'open-carry' law serves as a preemptive measure to gun-related misuse/abuse. By knowing someone else has the legal right to shoot you (with certain exceptions), people do not go around antagonizing (or threatening) one another unnecessarily.


1 person likes this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 6, 2019 at 2:11 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

Everyone just calm down, prostrate yourselves, get back into calm victim position, and safely turn away from the next burglary, robbery or sexual assault.


22 people like this
Posted by gunshot victims
a resident of Woodside
on Jan 6, 2019 at 2:31 pm

Calm down before the next roided up vigilante opens fire and sprays a parking lot?

Did you even read about this guy, who even admits to being a gym rat, heavily on testosterone prescriptions?


10 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 6, 2019 at 4:36 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Taking the entire world population into consideration, Americans should be the absolute last to be allowed anywhere within a 100 miles of a firearm.


2 people like this
Posted by Eileen Wright
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 6, 2019 at 4:47 pm

'The 5th covers many bases, including "...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation"

You specifically said "...like the right to use the guns we have the right to bear it has to pay us compensation"'

I'm glad you finaly read some of our Constitution. Most liberals never do. You got the words but you didn't think about what they mean. Our guns and the right to use them are our most basic right in the Constitution. If we let the goverment take that right away it will take all our freedoms away very soon. if the goverment takes our private right to use our guns in public it must compensate us. It is plain right there in the Constitution. Did our goverment compensate this patriot to give up his private right to use his gun to stop a crime? NO!!! Thats why this mess is totally Unconstitutional. And kindly stop your word salad nonsense.


13 people like this
Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 6, 2019 at 5:10 pm

R.Davis is a registered user.

QUOTE: Our guns and the right to use them are our most basic right in the Constitution. If we let the government take that right away it will take all our freedoms away very soon.

While I am not as adamant (in regards to gun rights/ownership) as my neighbor Ms. Wright, she did bring up a valid point...as a repressive society/country is one where only the military and/or police are allowed to carry firearms.

Picture all of the 'banana republics' & third world countries where this mandate is the law of the land...would you personally want to live in a place like that? Probably not.

Responsible gun ownership is the key but that ideal is like trying maintain and promote responsible drinking...good luck.


10 people like this
Posted by gunshot victims
a resident of Woodside
on Jan 6, 2019 at 5:36 pm

Eillen wrote: "You specifically said "...like the right to use the guns we have the right to bear it has to pay us compensation"'"

No he didn't say that. He was just quoting you. YOU said that. As he said, your word salad makes no sense.

As he also said, the second amendment does not give the gun nut the right to spray bullets all over a parking lot as a criminal vigilante.

Why do you keep deflecting from the main issue here?

Can't you accept that some gun owners are just stupid?

You seem to revel in calling liberals that, why can't you accept that stupidity runs across the spectrum?


20 people like this
Posted by Gun Lobbyist
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Jan 6, 2019 at 5:50 pm

Ms. Wright,

Word salad implies a nonsensical jumbo of words, such as Sarah Palin's concoctions.

Your messaging would also be helped by punctuation.

warmest regards,

GL


2 people like this
Posted by Eileen Wright
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 6, 2019 at 8:36 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 6, 2019 at 9:07 pm

[Post removed.]


26 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 7, 2019 at 9:30 am

>> if (sic) the goverment (sic) takes our private right to use our guns in public it must compensate us.

Another odd claim that makes zero sense. Where does it say in our great Constitution that (a) the government can take away rights, and (b) they have to compensate for said removed rights? (as opposed to "property" in the 5th?)

The confusion you mistakenly apply to liberals has found a home in your word salads.

Worse, this situation with the rambo-wannabe who shoots up parking lots is an actual threat to us all, not some arcane, warped fantasy of the 2nd and 5th amendments.

Imagine if another good-gun-nut-with-a-gun came by, saw him shooting INTO THE WINDSHIELD of a car, and decides to take him out? Followed by another? Add in responding police to 3 distinct shooters and we would LITERALLY have shots in every direction.

To respond to @Worstmomentsever: no, I haven't. And I don't want myself or anyone from our community near one.


24 people like this
Posted by Idiots with guns
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 7, 2019 at 11:35 am

There are plenty of them.


26 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 7, 2019 at 12:08 pm

@idiots with guns

Agreed. Glad you brought it up. Seriously, what kind of 'intellect' would bring a weapon into the home that is proven to offer an 11x risk of harming a loved one in the home than be used defensively? With almost no demonstrable defensive value, it only offers the weak, testosterone laden mind a sop to inadequacies in his life.

That's a really dumb equation to make.

---


" A gun in the home is more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.
Every time a gun injures or kills in self-defense, it is used:
11 times for completed and attempted suicides
7 times in criminal assaults and homicides
4 times in unintentional shooting deaths or injuries"

Web Link

The math is simple - keep a gun at home, increase the risks and danger to loved ones.

Sad.


13 people like this
Posted by NRA Member
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 7, 2019 at 1:07 pm

(1) The right to keep firearms in the home is every American's right as per the US Constitution.
(2) The right to carry firearms in public is subject to state laws.
(3) The right to abuse and/or misuse firearms is not.

Restricting firearms among law-abiding citizens will only create an imbalance from the standpoint that illegal possession will continue.

Law-abiding US citizens have the right to self-protection & if this this means plugging an assailant so be it.

On the other hand, people should not be taking the law (or certain matters) into their own hands as Poppe did.

If Poppe had been a better shot, there would probably be less critique of his spurious actions. Since he missed (badly), Poppe is now considered a menace to society.

Lesson...make your shots count & don't waste ammo and/or endanger others in the process. As in hunting, make it a 'clean kill'.


16 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 7, 2019 at 1:31 pm

>> Restricting firearms...

Logic fail. Almost no one in 60+ posts is claiming that. Most are seeking to have this menace removed from society.

Obviously, we all (you too) accept state's rights to ban machine guns, cannon, etc... but you can open another thread for that.

>> If Poppe had been a better shot...

He decided to step in front of a car, so we agree it wasn't self defense. Therefore, if he was a "better shot" he'd be looking at murder. Perhaps other charges if hitting the driver caused more wreckage/damage/injury to others.

>> As in hunting, make it a 'clean kill'

Implies you support vigilantism, execution by gun nuts acting as judge, jury and executioner.

You tried to couch your violent extremism in something that sounded almost reasonable at first, but you have failed there as well.


10 people like this
Posted by NRA Member
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 7, 2019 at 1:58 pm

> You tried to couch your violent extremism in something that sounded almost reasonable at first, but you have failed there as well.

If you take some time to re-read my post, you will find that you are the 'extremist'.

> You tried to couch your violent extremism in something that sounded almost reasonable at first, but you have failed there as well.

Extremism from either side of a spectrum is questionable. Believe it or not, there are many NRA members who support various restrictions on firearm ownership/possession.

Unfortunately, the 2nd Amendment needs to be better clarified so that whack-jobs are not allowed to own them. This will be very difficult to legislate due to the 'originalist VS 'living document' debate regarding Constitutional law.

So in the meantime...if someone chooses to 'legally' own a firearm, that is their choice & Constitutional right. Unlawfully discharging a firearm is another story & subject to prosecution.

As far as a 'clean shot' is concerned, having grown-up in Montana where deer & elk hunting are seasonal pastimes, it is always best to strive for a clean shot as a wounded animal wandering off into the backwoods & suffering (until eventual death) amounts to animal cruelty at its worst.

And judging by the countless number of police-related shootings, I would imagine that most LEOs are also trained to make their rounds count as well. Less is more as
whenever a news account reports that a suspect was shot 15+ times, people begin to wonder.

The bottom line...except for hunting of course, if someone is wrongfully shooting at you, you have the right (if armed) to fire back. The liquor thieves were apparently unarmed so Poppe overreacted. Had they been armed (and he managed to take them out), we'd be discussing another story...perhaps a 'Death Wish' kind of accolade.

Lesson...have others do your Safeway shopping late at night (if possible).



20 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 7, 2019 at 2:56 pm

You said if the criminal Poppe was a better shot, then alluded to a clean kill being your preference. You just equated a human whom Poppe decided, as judge jury and executioner, that human with deer. Animal cruelty, leaving the vigilante victim 'only' injured, not dead.


So I'm sticking with:

>> As in hunting, make it a 'clean kill'

>> Implies you support vigilantism, execution by gun nuts acting as judge, jury and executioner.

>> You tried to couch your violent extremism in something that sounded almost reasonable at first, but you have failed there as well.


Bringing in your Rambo-like Death Wish fantasies doesn't help deny your extremism.


6 people like this
Posted by gunshot victims
a resident of Woodside
on Jan 7, 2019 at 3:53 pm

Vigilante - maybe bad. But if you do, get a clean kill??!!??

Are you insane?


8 people like this
Posted by Best To Be Careful Who You Mess With
a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2019 at 6:45 pm

A acquaintance of mine is a 5th degree black belt in karate & he was accosted in Oakland by a couple of armed hoodlums. He got robbed.

Since the fastest of martial arts moves cannot stop a bullet, he now is licensed to carry a concealed firearm as he is a wholesale jewelry salesman (diamonds & precious metals).

His attitude now is...mess with me & you can count on receiving a high-velocity bullet in return. Have fun at the ER. Makes sense, why should he cut violent robbers any slack? They deserve to be taken down...like rabid animals.


4 people like this
Posted by gunshot victims
a resident of Woodside
on Jan 7, 2019 at 7:45 pm

"...like rabid animals."

What does your immoral, unchristian opinion of the value of human life have to do with the vigilante criminal in this thread who spayed gunfire over a parking lot?


2 people like this
Posted by Best To Be Careful Who You Mess With
a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2019 at 8:29 pm

> What does your immoral, unchristian opinion of the value of human life have to do with the vigilante criminal in this thread who spayed gunfire over a parking lot?

Why are you seemingly condoning the thieves? If they weren't stealing liquor, Poppe probably wouldn't have reacted in such an irresponsible manner.

Yes. The guy shouldn't have pulled out his 9mm and started firing.

But these 'low-life' thieves shouldn't have been robbing Safeway either.

Though this commandment is Old Testament and not necessarily related to the 'Christian' tenets...I do recall something about "Thou shall not steal."

There is nothing pertaining to "Thou shall not shoot" although Poppe should have used better judgement and maybe spent more time at the range.

Then again, it is harder to hit a moving target than a stationary one.


14 people like this
Posted by ol yeller dat
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 7, 2019 at 8:32 pm

Why on Earth bring up 'clean shot' in a discussion about a crazy vigilante? I can't fathom the mindset.


8 people like this
Posted by ol yeller dat
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 7, 2019 at 8:39 pm

"I do recall something about "Thou shall not steal." "

But thou shall step into something and act as cop jury and judge? And thou shall open fire in a crowded parking lot?

Thou is in Old or New testament? Thou must be really olddddddd...

What would Jesus do? Open up in a parking lot? Thank heavens that no kids were hurt. Jail this whack job.


6 people like this
Posted by Best To Be Careful Who You Mess With
a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2019 at 8:49 pm

Bizarre. I'm not condoning the shooter in any way but some here seem to be endorsing the thieves.

Liberal communities tend to be that way...another boo-hoo for the poor people who have to steal. Not bread or milk but booze.

And to top it off, the thieves were driving off in a Lexus. Go figure.


8 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 7, 2019 at 9:16 pm

>> ...but some here seem to be endorsing the thieves.

Oh, puhleeeeze... 70+ posts - list ten that ENDORSE the thieves. (So Trumpian: "some" say...)

Who's the problem here? Alleged shoplifters? Or an out-of-town 'roided out, testosterone fueled gun nut who sprays lead around a crowded parking lot, all because he thought he was judge, jury and EXECUTIONER??

So... why are you endorsing the gun nut?

Old Yeller has it right: What would Jesus do?


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 7, 2019 at 9:55 pm

Can we recall the judges who keep setting these thieves free?
Nobody even files charges anymore. Pointless.
If you witness shoplifting, would you bother to report it?
Who wants to be a stoolie?


1 person likes this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 8, 2019 at 12:10 am

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

When Amazon buys Safeway, that case of Captain Morgan will be auto-Squared from his AppleWallet, and or the Lexus will auto-lock, making it an easier target for Mr. Peanut with a Glock in his Lululemons, on Puppy Uppers.
Get crackin'.

Or as Jerry Hannan says: I put I can't believe it's not butter on my I can't believe it's not bread.


1 person likes this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 8, 2019 at 12:21 am

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by Best To Be Careful Who You Mess With
a resident of another community
on Jan 8, 2019 at 8:17 am

> Old Yeller has it right: What would Jesus do?

Biblical scholars concur...

Since Jesus was known for turning water to wine, he probably would have converted a stolen case of Jack Daniels into one of Crystal Geyser (or vice versa) thus averting this unfortunate incident.






8 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 8, 2019 at 10:01 am

Can't back up your lie about posters endorsing the thieves, one notes. And sorry, no points for the 'water into wine' attempt at humor, at the expense of the apparent thief shot at by the roided out rambo wannabe.


5 people like this
Posted by Best To Be Careful Who You Mess With
a resident of another community
on Jan 8, 2019 at 10:40 am

> Can't back up your lie about posters endorsing the thieves,

>> ...at the [expense of the apparent thief] shot at by the roided out rambo wannabe.

^^^^ You just did! Curious...why so much inherent 'empathy' for the liquor thieves?


6 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 8, 2019 at 11:09 am

>> You just did! Curious...why so much inherent 'empathy' for the liquor thieves?

[Portion removed.]

Truly, I think you are confusing that I have empathy for everyone else in the parking lot, as the roided-out rambo-wannabe Gun Nut opened fire.

Don't you?


8 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2019 at 11:34 am

What I find very odd is that "conservative" posters above seem to think it is somewhat OK for a person to impulsively appoint himself judge, jury, and executioner for someone who is apparently guilty of shoplifting.

Sure, shoplifting is a crime, but, even the most "old testament" viewpoint of "an eye for an eye" would find that disproportionate.


12 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 8, 2019 at 11:42 am

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

It is of note that the article refers to the robbers as "victims". It just shows that Liberal Progressive policies are actually synonymous with theft.

Changing the definitions of violent crimes and raising the threshold of a misdemeanor to about $1,000 has spurred a dramatic uptick in purse snatchings, smash and grabs, street assaults and apparently liqueur store runs at the grocery store.

[Portion removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 8, 2019 at 12:06 pm

[Portion removed.]

Back to the apparent thieves that were shot at by a roided-out rambo-wannabe Gun Nut, who endangered many good Palo Altans in a crowded parking lot... you support vigilantes who appoint themselves judge jury and executioner?

...of course you do. No respect for Law and Order.


12 people like this
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 8, 2019 at 12:36 pm

"A acquaintance of mine is a 5th degree black belt in karate & he was accosted in Oakland by a couple of armed hoodlums. He got robbed.

Since the fastest of martial arts moves cannot stop a bullet, he now is licensed to carry a concealed firearm as he is a wholesale jewelry salesman (diamonds & precious metals).

His attitude now is...mess with me & you can count on receiving a high-velocity bullet in return. Have fun at the ER. Makes sense, why should he cut violent robbers any slack? They deserve to be taken down...like rabid animals."

Oh great another armed person! More likely this guy will come home to find his wife having sex with some a 6th Degree Black Belt and then shoot and kill both of them. OR he'll have suicidal ideation and having a gun at the ready will mean his more assured demise. Or his kid will find it and kill him/herself or a playmate. Or a robber will break in, find the gun, and the guy comes home and the intruder kills him. Those are the statistics on the ground.

To stop this national madness and disgrace we need to

BAN ALL semi auto--only police (and no deputized get around). "only from my cold dead hands" Our reply should be "OK that can be arranged" Full auto already banned (except as a heavily regulated toy for the rich) so what is so anti-2nd Amendment about going just a step further. Anyone can easily hunt or protect their home without resorting to semi-auto. If you really believe the 2nd Amendment exists so that the citizenry can overthrow the government then please have an iota of courage of your convictions! Argue for civilian/military parity ala 1776 and current citizens then should be able to possess fully automatic weapons, RPG's, tanks, states should be able to have thermonuclear weapons.

Register ALL weapons, background checks, etc. Stop the guns coming in from Red States into the inner cities (ala I-95 corridor from FL to NY).

The liquor theft this vigilante saw in progress was in no way threatening life or limb. A simple cell phone photo of the perps and their license plate would have sufficed. Instead this apparently was all the trigger needed for this armed buffoon to blast away and create potentially lethal mayhem. Let this be a warning shot to us all!


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2019 at 1:07 pm

Interesting that PAO moderators have closed the thread about the sexual attack to only registered users and left this one completely open. Some of the comments here are something else.

I would like to say that this story had me fearing for my own safety and that of all local Safeway users rather than anything else. A known group of liquor thieves stole from our local Safeway during the evening. They got away with it for various reasons, but the store was targeted and almost any of us could have been there at the time. It seems the thieves did not have guns, but possibly had knives or other weapons to thwart anyone trying to stop them. I am pleased that Safeway employees didn't get hurt and no customers got hurt trying to stop them. However, one customer had a gun and decided to do what everyone else with common sense did and tried to prevent them getting away. Who knows what could have happened, if the driver had been hit and drove away seriously wounded. As it was, the car sped away driving dangerously.

We seem to be having more and more crime in Palo Alto lately. From liquor thefts, to breakins, to muggings and sex crimes. Fortunately most of the crimes seem to be solved fairly quickly, thanks PAPD.


I don't want to see more vigilante acts, but I do want to see less crime. I don't like what happened in Safeway parking lot and I don't like what I see happening all over town.

Seriously everyone. What is happening here to Palo Alto? How can these crimes be prevented? How can we improve our quality of life by getting rid of these serious criminal activities?

Let's get UK style CCTV. Let's give PAPD the tools they need to do their jobs. Let's stop this in the bud.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2019 at 1:10 pm

I mean that one customer did what nobody with any common sense would do and shot at the car. Sorry if that came across poorly in my previous post.


3 people like this
Posted by Conservative
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2019 at 2:08 pm

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by Annie Oakley
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 8, 2019 at 2:11 pm

> Is the uproar because the shooter missed his targets & is from a red state where open/concealed carry is legal?

Probably. He endangered others by his random/missed shots. Had he shot the thieves, people here might be singing another tune...unless of course, they feel sorry for thieves stealing alcohol. Some feel that theft is more reflective of society's enforced poverty among poor people who in turn have to steal things in order to survive. [Portion removed.]

>The Idaho 'open-carry' law serves as a preemptive measure to gun-related misuse/abuse. By knowing someone else has the legal right to shoot you (with certain exceptions), people do not go around antagonizing (or threatening) one another unnecessarily.

Maybe the Safeway store managers should be TRAINED and allowed 'open carry' as a deterrent to crime. This is legal in red states that have Safeway stores.

And if the stolen inventory is deducted from their pay (instead of via insurance claims) you can bet those firearms will be utilized. This concept is not intended to promote random shootings but to serve as a warning to would be thieves.

Carrying 'heat' would also reduce some of these recent PA assaults we've been hearing about lately.

No one would/should feel sorry for an an assailant getting shot...some have it coming. Just ask any woman who's ever been attacked.




4 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 8, 2019 at 2:18 pm

>> Carrying 'heat' would also reduce

Yes, it might. It may also 'feel good' for those who do not know the math and science, perhaps give a way to hide some inadequacy. Look at the FELON who spayed our local parking lot. Multiple gyms, testosterone, lord knows what other drugs/hormones/steroids.

But we know for a fact that gun ownership increases the risks to you and your loved ones.


See link to studies above:

"A gun in the home is more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.

Every time a gun injures or kills in self-defense, it is used:

11 times for completed and attempted suicides
7 times in criminal assaults and homicides
4 times in unintentional shooting deaths or injuries"


The math is simple - keep a gun at home, increase the risks and danger to you and your loved ones.


8 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2019 at 2:21 pm

Posted by Annie Oakley, a resident of Barron Park

>> Probably. He endangered others by his random/missed shots. Had he shot the thieves, people here might be singing another tune...unless of course, they feel sorry for thieves stealing alcohol.

This is a straw-man argument. You don't have to "feel sorry for thieves" as the only alternative to being against someone appointing himself judge, jury, and executioner and killing someone for shoplifting. There are alternatives.

[Portion removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by Annie Oakley
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 8, 2019 at 2:31 pm

> OBTW, shoplifting is not a capital offense anywhere in the US.

I concur and the shooter was acting irresponsibly. After all the stolen liquor wasn't his property to begin with.

The Safeway manager should have handled the situation and if he was armed, perhaps the theft could have been averted.

As far as 'packing heat'...women have a right to protect themselves from unwarranted sexual assaults. The key is to (1) exercise caution wherever you go, (2) be prepared for an 'incident', (3) know how to shoot accurately, and as another poster said, [portion removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by Yes, Alimon
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 8, 2019 at 2:37 pm

One notes the so-called conservatives are no longer attacking the thieves as much, are ignoring the testosterone-addled Felon who sprayed gunfire in our city as only "acting irresponsibly" and are desperate to move the frame to women should have guns, despite the risks to their lives and their loved ones.

Oh, and grocery store managers should be carrying.

Why don't we just institute Israeli gun control?


15 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 8, 2019 at 3:46 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

Guns have evolved over 100s of years to be extremely safe and reliable. They very rarely go off when not intended and do not go off when intended. People are the dangerous element.

It is your 2nd amendment right. Buy a firearm, get trained and be a responsible gun owner.

Disarming when life is getting more dangerous is the least sensible thing to do.


4 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 8, 2019 at 10:07 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

When a person tries o run someone down, that is assault with a deadly weapon with intent to commit MURDER. That is how cops justify killing the driver ( too bad about the passenger(s) and bystanders they kill when trying to kill the driver. That Nevada man just has to get this incident transferred to a Nevada our where the charge will be laughed out of court.

Every other state calls KKKalifornia the home of fruits, nuts and flakes. Why add to that statement? It as bad enough when South Park did an episode called " Smug Alert " about the SFBA, don't make the evidence worse.

The future looks like a cross of " Demolition Man " and " Idiocracy ". Only it won't be 500 years, more like 50 years in California. We are living on San Francisco garbage already and much of the Baylands is that, too. Cooley Landing was a place where boats landed there, not just landlocked as it is today. I know, I lived there. See RED-LINING for details. That TESLA plane crashed right next to our backyard,those power lines they hit was where I played. These are hard facts, not some thought experiments.


19 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 9, 2019 at 1:18 am

Nayeli is a registered user.

The term "gun nut" has been used FOURTEEN times in this comments section. While there are undoubtedly some "gun nuts" in this world, that term is an insult to most American citizens who own firearms.

Moreover, there are FAR MORE violent crimes being committed in this country than there are "gun nuts" (even by a radically liberal use of that slur). Even most gun crimes (where the perpetrators are identified) are committed by people who are not supposed to have a gun in the first place.

I suppose that we could argue that the "anti-Second Amendment nuts" are willing to restrict good, law-abiding Americans from having any means to protect themselves. It is important for Americans to have an ability to protect themselves and their families.

As the old saying goes, "When every second counts, police are only minutes away."

On the other hand, you do have a small handful of people who behave contrary to how most gun-owners in America behave. As I said before, the person in this incident (to borrow words from former President Obama) "acted stupidly." He could have killed an innocent bystander.

I believe in gun control. However, real "control" should primarily be to restrict guns from the people who are largely not supposed to have them anyway.

This includes absolute restrictions for convicted felons and all non-citizens. I would also extend it to ANY convicted individual involved in crimes of burglary, robbery, violence and domestic violence as well as individuals who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder.

The rest of Americans can be trusted with their Second Amendment rights. I have no problems with the anti-Second Amendment nuts (the ones usually calling everyone else "nuts") shouting their views from the rooftops.

However, the Second Amendment isn't going to be reinterpreted by activist judges any time soon. If they REALLY want to restrict most guns from most Americans, then they should try to pass a constitutional amendment of gun prohibition.

Of course, the chances of that passing are slim at best. Moreover, I suspect that it will be as popular as another "prohibition" amendment a century ago.


8 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 9, 2019 at 8:53 am

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

What we have here is a failure to communicate. Let's put the issue into language Liberal Progressives can understand.

In the interest of diversity, inclusion and equity, we should embrace gun rights advocates even though they might be different from us. Their difference is our strength.

As a social construct, lawbreakers have erected a violent hierarchy expressed as "Toxic Criminality" in order to oppress and exploit other groups that own stuff that they want. Over time, this framework has solidified into a power structure called "Might Privilege."

In order to close the weapons gap between innocent bystanders and perpetrators, law abiding citizens should advocate for their 2nd amendment rights and consider arming themselves for self defense purposes in their homes. Only then will we be able to create a safe space without being triggered (literally) by the unlawful oppressors.


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

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Nationally renowned Indian restaurant expanding to Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 2 comments | 2,601 views

Summer travel: Is anything changing?
By Sherry Listgarten | 10 comments | 1,132 views

I feel sorry for Stanford University
By Diana Diamond | 5 comments | 1,016 views

Premarital and Couples: "Our Deepest Fear" by Marianne Williamson
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 807 views

Cap On? Cap Off? Recycling Bottles is Confusing
By Laura Stec | 12 comments | 643 views