A 42-year-old Sunnyvale man was allegedly shot by his son in a possible case of mistaken identity in East Palo Alto early Saturday morning, according to police and the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
Officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert of gunfire in the 2100 block of Poplar Avenue near U.S. Highway 101 around 12:30 a.m. Saturday and found a man stumbling and bleeding on the street, according to police. He had been grazed in the head by a bullet.
Earlier Saturday, the man had gone to the home where his 26-year-old son, Marvin Ernesto Lopezico, and Lopezico's two young children, ages 6 and 7, live in a backyard shack. Lopezico would not let the father in, the District Attorney's Office said. The Sunnyvale man sat in the front yard drinking for a couple of hours while Lopezico was inside the shack allegedly drinking a bottle of whiskey and using cocaine.
At about midnight, Lopezico left the shack carrying a handgun and shouting "Who are you?" A struggle over the firearm ensued. The Sunnyvale man was shot in the head, and Lopezico went back into the shack, the District Attorney's Office stated.
Responding officers, including three units from Menlo Park and a K-9 unit from Palo Alto, set up a perimeter around the area of the home, East Palo Alto Cmdr. Jeff Liu said.
Lopezico is charged with attempted murder, use of a firearm during a felony, battery on a peace officer, possession of a loaded firearm in public, possession of a controlled substance, personal use of a firearm and two counts of child endangerment. The child-endangerment charges are for having the two children in the home and the living conditions were substandard.
The older man is in stable condition and was treated at Stanford Hospital, Liu said.
Lopezico appeared in San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City on Monday, where a judge appointed him an attorney through the private defender program. He did not enter a plea and is being held without bail. The 26-year-old is scheduled to enter a plea and to set a preliminary hearing date on Sept. 23.