Off-duty deputy fatally shoots attempted robbery suspect in Alameda

July 19, 2013 11:45:57 AM PDT
An East Bay community is slowly returning to normal after a sheriff's deputy shot and killed a man they say was holding up a neighborhood store. The deputy was off-duty when two men tried to hold up Bonfare Market shortly before 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

Though the other suspect got away, we've just learned that a man has checked himself into the hospital with an unexplained gunshot wound. Police are on their way over there to try and talk to him and see if he was the second man at the convenience store.

Neighbors say the burst of gunfire coming from the corner market at High Street and Santa Clara Avenue in Alameda was very loud and there was no question something was terribly wrong.

"When I came outside there was a guy standing over somebody else, holding a gun, and the guy on the ground was clearly not moving," neighbor Kimberley Hecht said.

Investigators say the man was an off-duty sheriff's deputy. They say he was shopping at the Bonfare Market when two armed men came in and tried to rob the store.

"He ended up shooting and killing one of the armed suspects," Lt. Rob Frankland said. "The second suspect fled on foot and it's possible that he was also shot."

"I'm just sorry for the people that own the store and run it," Hecht said. "They're very nice people and friendly and they seem to have had a lot of grief recently."

This is the second time the store has been robbed in a week. Police don't know if the same men committed both robberies.

As word spread about Thursday night's attack, loyal customers raced to the store to check on the owners.

"I know these people and we talk, I say hi to them, they know my kids, and I'm just like, oh my god I hope they're okay," customer Laurie Lacey said.

The two people who were working at the time of the robbery are okay.

Police say it will take some time before they officially decide whether it was a justified shooting.

"At first glance, I would say that if the deputy didn't save someone's life he surely could have saved someone from getting seriously injured," Lt. Frankland said.

Residents say they're relieved the deputy was there.

"I hope it acts as some kind of deterrent, actually," Hecht said. "Cause, you know, twice in one week and this much violence is very frightening."

The sheriff's deputy is a 20 year veteran. His office says he is a very capable officer. He will be on paid administrative leave while the investigation is underway.


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