Shooting suspect preached non-violence on TV

SAN JOSE, Calif.

The apartment complex is where alleged Cupertino gunman Shareef Allman lives with his teenage daughter and a granddaughter, according to neighbors.

Allman has been described as a nice man according to neighbors. Allman dressed well and usually didn't bother others.

Neighbors say they didn't see Allman with any guns. To the contrary, neighbors ABC7 spoke with considered Allman a peacemaker who could tame tempers and bring people together.

Neighbors say they can't explain what happened.

ABC7 spoke with a former girlfriend and the mother of Allman's 18-year-old daughter. Cherry Tasker said she went to jail in the early 1990s for domestic violence, but claimed she was fighting back against the abuse that Allman was allegedly dishing out.

Since then, she said she thought Allman had turned his life around.

Along with his work at the quarry in Cupertino, Allman was an author and a television producer. As one of 130 volunteers who create programming for a cable access channel, Allman hosted a program on CreaTV in San Jose.

Among many of his interviews was the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

"Shareef really loved to do his program here," said Suzanne St. John-Crane of CreaTV. "Part of that meant he would try to get interviews with folks that spoke about non-violence."

St. John-Crane said she hopes Allman turns himself in peacefully.

Along with his television show, Allman also appears in the ABC7 News archive. In 2010, Allman rode the Freedom Train from San Jose to San Francisco to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

"This train shows all the nationalities coming together for one cause," Allman said.

James Ragland worked with Allman at the French Quarter Restaurant in Sunnyvale. Both Ragland and Allman were bouncers at the restaurant -- a side job for Allman from his day job at the cement quarry.

"Something happened between the job and whatever else personal was going on in his life to either snap or have a breakdown," Ragland said.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, several San Jose community leaders expressed their shock and sadness about Allman, a man they knew as a friend.

"We're hoping and praying he would turn himself in," Allman said. "His children need him. The community needs him. We just hope he would do the right thing and end this horrible nightmare."

Neighbors say Allman is a peaceful man, and they hope he seeks out a minister for guidance and that he will surrender to police.

Police have been in contact with Allman's family in case he reaches out to them. So far, there's no indication that he has.

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