News

Man arrested for Stanford Shopping Center drive-by shooting

Ex-employee of Fleming's Prime Steakhouse allegedly shot at restaurant's window

Palo Alto police investigate a shooting in which one round hit a glass window at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse in Palo Alto on Nov. 21, 2022. Photo by Sue Dremann.

A man who allegedly fired at least twice during a drive-by shooting at Stanford Shopping Center Monday afternoon has been arrested, Palo Alto police said. He was found to be a former employee of Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, where a glass window was damaged by the gunfire.

Zachary Michael Ginsberg, 32, of San Jose, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and shooting at an occupied building on Nov. 22, 2022. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department.

Zachary Michael Ginsberg, 32, of San Jose, had recently been sending threatening text messages to his former supervisor after an interpersonal conflict, police said Tuesday in a press release. Ginsberg's former supervisor was working at the restaurant when the shooting occurred.

The shopping center was temporarily shut down for 45 minutes after at least two shots were fired from a vehicle. One hit the glass window next to the entrance at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse at 180 El Camino Real and a second bullet struck an unoccupied vehicle in the parking lot. The restaurant was open for business at the time, and customers were inside. No one was injured by the bullets, police said.

A witness saw a person in a black Chevrolet Camaro driving north on El Camino Real extend a pistol out of the driver's side window and open fire. The location is near the El Camino Park soccer field. The witness could not describe the shooter.

Detectives obtained a warrant for Ginsburg's arrest on Tuesday morning on suspicion of attempted murder and shooting at an occupied building, which are both felonies. They arrested him without incident at about 9:55 a.m. in the 2600 block of Augustine Drive in Santa Clara. Police also processed his car, a black 2018 Chevrolet Camaro, for evidence at that site.

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Investigators also served a search warrant at Ginsberg's home in the 300 block of Crescent Village Circle in San Jose. They recovered the firearm, an unregistered 9mm polymer handgun, commonly known as a "ghost gun," which police believe was used in the shooting.

Officers booked Ginsberg into the Santa Clara County Main Jail. Police suspect he acted alone, and there is no evidence that anyone else was in his car during the crime, they said.

In a statement regarding Ginsberg's arrest, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse said, "We are grateful for the swift investigative work of the Palo Alto Police department and thankful they were able to find the person responsible quickly."

"The safety and security of our guests and employees is a priority and although we've been told there is no immediate threat, we are taking additional security measures, including bringing in private security," the company said in an earlier statement prior to the arrest.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.

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Sue Dremann
 
Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Man arrested for Stanford Shopping Center drive-by shooting

Ex-employee of Fleming's Prime Steakhouse allegedly shot at restaurant's window

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Nov 22, 2022, 5:32 pm
Updated: Tue, Nov 22, 2022, 6:53 pm

A man who allegedly fired at least twice during a drive-by shooting at Stanford Shopping Center Monday afternoon has been arrested, Palo Alto police said. He was found to be a former employee of Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, where a glass window was damaged by the gunfire.

Zachary Michael Ginsberg, 32, of San Jose, had recently been sending threatening text messages to his former supervisor after an interpersonal conflict, police said Tuesday in a press release. Ginsberg's former supervisor was working at the restaurant when the shooting occurred.

The shopping center was temporarily shut down for 45 minutes after at least two shots were fired from a vehicle. One hit the glass window next to the entrance at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse at 180 El Camino Real and a second bullet struck an unoccupied vehicle in the parking lot. The restaurant was open for business at the time, and customers were inside. No one was injured by the bullets, police said.

A witness saw a person in a black Chevrolet Camaro driving north on El Camino Real extend a pistol out of the driver's side window and open fire. The location is near the El Camino Park soccer field. The witness could not describe the shooter.

Detectives obtained a warrant for Ginsburg's arrest on Tuesday morning on suspicion of attempted murder and shooting at an occupied building, which are both felonies. They arrested him without incident at about 9:55 a.m. in the 2600 block of Augustine Drive in Santa Clara. Police also processed his car, a black 2018 Chevrolet Camaro, for evidence at that site.

Investigators also served a search warrant at Ginsberg's home in the 300 block of Crescent Village Circle in San Jose. They recovered the firearm, an unregistered 9mm polymer handgun, commonly known as a "ghost gun," which police believe was used in the shooting.

Officers booked Ginsberg into the Santa Clara County Main Jail. Police suspect he acted alone, and there is no evidence that anyone else was in his car during the crime, they said.

In a statement regarding Ginsberg's arrest, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse said, "We are grateful for the swift investigative work of the Palo Alto Police department and thankful they were able to find the person responsible quickly."

"The safety and security of our guests and employees is a priority and although we've been told there is no immediate threat, we are taking additional security measures, including bringing in private security," the company said in an earlier statement prior to the arrest.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.

Comments

Citizen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Nov 22, 2022 at 6:43 pm
Citizen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Nov 22, 2022 at 6:43 pm

Noticed PAO posted this suspect's photo. Will PAO plan/pledge to do that for all similarly arrested suspects?


Town Square Moderator
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2022 at 8:31 pm
Town Square Moderator, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Nov 22, 2022 at 8:31 pm

Yes, Citizen, this arrest for a violent crime - attempted murder - falls under the exceptions category of our policy on reporting arrestees, which can be found here: Web Link


Citizen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Nov 22, 2022 at 9:07 pm
Citizen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Nov 22, 2022 at 9:07 pm

And why not post suspect photos for others arrested for other crimes? After all, perhaps people would like to keep clear of people suspected of committing crimes. And if they've been arrested, they've been arrested.
That's public, isn't it? Doesn't it serve the public to inform people of those who have been arrested?

Why favor the interests of those arrested of crimes rather serve the interests of the general public? There have been a number of incidents at Stanford shopping center, for example, in the police blotter. Should PAO choose to shield where crimes occurred as well as shield those arrested for committing the crimes? Perhaps Stanford shopping center would prefer PAO not to report the location of crimes as people might choose not to shop there, for example. Should PAO choose their interests over the general public's need for information?


Cedric de La Beaujardiere
Registered user
Barron Park
on Nov 22, 2022 at 10:13 pm
Cedric de La Beaujardiere, Barron Park
Registered user
on Nov 22, 2022 at 10:13 pm

Being arrested for a crime is not the same as being found guilty of the crime. Circumstances and evolving investigations can lead to innocent people being arrested and later cleared of any involvement in the crime. Even convicted people are sometimes later proved to have been wrongly convicted. In the United States, there is a presumption of innocence until found guilty in a court of law. If you were innocent, yet wrongfully accused of a crime, would you want your photo to have been prematurely splashed all over the newspapers and online web sites, following you for the rest of your life and appearing in web searches whenever you applied for a job or tried to date someone?


Leslie York
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 22, 2022 at 11:06 pm
Leslie York, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Nov 22, 2022 at 11:06 pm

A suspect is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. There may be concern about influencing the jury pool, which raises the question, why post pictures of some suspects and not others?

Personally I'm in favor of publishing suspect photos. Jurors who have been influenced by the photo can be screened out in voir dire.


Leslie York
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 22, 2022 at 11:10 pm
Leslie York, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Nov 22, 2022 at 11:10 pm

PAO is the airport. PAPD is the police department.


Easy8
Registered user
Green Acres
on Nov 23, 2022 at 12:27 am
Easy8, Green Acres
Registered user
on Nov 23, 2022 at 12:27 am

Case solved, suspect arrested in less than 24 hours.

Despite what the detractors say, I think the PA Police Department does a great job!


Citizen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Nov 23, 2022 at 8:00 am
Citizen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Nov 23, 2022 at 8:00 am

Has Sam Bankman-Fried been arrested of a crime? Has he been convicted of a crime? His photo has certainly been published in media outlets in the last number of days. Did PAO publish his photo? What about Elizabeth Holmes? She was arrested, but it took quite a bit of time prior to her conviction taking place. Was her photo published in PAO prior to conviction?
Double standard?


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Nov 23, 2022 at 8:39 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Nov 23, 2022 at 8:39 am

Disgruntled ex-employees are scary. This could happen anywhere, and it's a concern to all employers. Thankfully, no one was hurt.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 23, 2022 at 10:00 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Nov 23, 2022 at 10:00 am

Current employees are scary, too, since it was a current Walmart manger who killed all those people in their Virginia break room. See also the VTA murders.

And yes, the double standard is not only annoying but it's also dangerous especially given the delayed police reports where the PAPD routinely asks us for information about crimes committed a week ago.


eenee
Registered user
Portola Valley
on Nov 23, 2022 at 10:26 am
eenee, Portola Valley
Registered user
on Nov 23, 2022 at 10:26 am

Probably he will be let out of jail right away - since he didn’t actually injure or kill anybody - i doubt the judicial system can keep him.
Rules are all too lax - if he had the intention to kill - and that’s usually what you h ave when you fire a gun- that should be a punishable offense right there.
We probably will not hear any follow up .


Aletheia
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Nov 23, 2022 at 10:56 am
Aletheia, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Nov 23, 2022 at 10:56 am

Citizen--

Stop making sense. That is not tolerated here!


Fred Baker
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 24, 2022 at 10:24 am
Fred Baker, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2022 at 10:24 am

Earth to Citizen & Altheia...

White collar crimes are addressed differently than ones involving firearms or violence.

A $40.00 robbery with a handgun can easily result in a 15 year prison sentence.

Fraudsters like Holmes get 11 years with
time reduced for good behavior.

She should have gotten 20 years.


Judy Hall
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 25, 2022 at 9:40 am
Judy Hall, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2022 at 9:40 am

Anyone who recklessly fires a gun at a public place/gathering should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

As far as posting a pic of the suspect, the public is entitled to that information regardless of the suspect's guilt or innocence.

Remember the JFK assassination? Images of Lee Harvey Oswald were posted by the news media despite the fact that he never went to court for an arraignment, pre-trial hearing, trial, and/or sentencing trial.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Nov 25, 2022 at 10:53 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Nov 25, 2022 at 10:53 am

The oddest thing is he hasn't worked there in three years. That's a long time to still be angry at a former supervisor.


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