Suspect, victim identified in fatal San Leandro hit-and-run

SAN LEANDRO, CALIF. (KGO) -- San Leandro police have identified a man accused of killing a True World Foods employee in a fatal hit-and-run incident Monday as 27-year-old Richmond resident Kadeem Edwards of Richmond. The victim is 54-year-old Takeshi Watanabe of San Leandro.

There is very little information about Edwards' past or if he has a history of any criminal activity.

Watanabe was killed shortly before noon when he was hit by a pickup truck in the rear of a food supply warehouse in San Leandro in an incident that police are treating as a homicide.

Watanabe worked at True World Foods on Williams street for 23 years. He confronted Edwards trying to steal pallets from the rear area where trucks load food products for delivery. Witnesses told police Watanabe banged his fists on the truck to stop the driver when the suspect hit the gas instead.

McManus said Watanabe was pronounced dead at the scene.

The suspect fled in his pickup truck and was detained just after 5 p.m. "We saw the truck, when we saw police with guns drawn we knew it was serious," witness Clinton Givans said.

Givans saw police searching for the suspect who was caught minutes later. "The officers chased him and found him hiding underneath a parked car," McManus said.

Police said the suspect and his pickup were seen on surveillance video earlier in the day at the loading dock of True World Foods where the suspect was allegedly stealing wooden pallets. Then, police said an employee confronted the man and tried to stop him from leaving, but the pickup ran the worker down. "Obviously he tried to stop the crime today and paid a tragic price for doing the right thing," McManus said.

Workers reacted to the tragedy Monday but management at True World Foods did not provide a comment.

A pallet recycling faculty is located only feet away from where the suspect was arrested. The True World Foods San Francisco warehouse is located at 1915 Williams Street in San Leandro.

A fundraising site has been set up for the Watanabe family. If you would like to contribute, click here.

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