Deadly Oakland laptop theft victim remembered, suspects back in court

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Suspects due in court for death of man in Oakland laptop theft
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The victim of the deadly laptop robbery in Oakland's Montclair neighborhood is being remembered while the suspect in the case made another court appearance Monday morning.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The victim of the deadly laptop robbery in Oakland's Montclair neighborhood is being remembered while the suspects in the case made another court appearance Monday morning.

The defendants, Byron Reed Jr, 22, and Javon Lee, 21, were transported from the jail to the Oakland courthouse for the hearing.

Police believe Lee stole the laptop and Reed drove the getaway car.

Detectives say 34-year-old Shuo Zeng chased after the suspects and he was hit by the getaway car and killed. Zeng was in the Starbucks on his birthday, Dec. 31, when the laptop was stolen.

Sue Graham never imagined that the post-it note she put up outside the Montclair Starbucks in Zeng's honor would grow as it has.

"I came down here on the second, put a post-it up left some for others I was hoping that one window pane would be covered," said Graham.

Now Graham and Joanne Coyne are taking down the memorial to Zeng.

Coyne will be turning all of these post-it notes, sentiments and pictures into a scrapbook for Zeng's family.

"It'll be nice to have the memories and the community all came together to put these out here and so I thought they should be shared with the family," said Coyne.

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Over the weekend, Zeng's parents arrived from China.

Sunday, Zeng's neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family filled the space, sharing stories of his talents from his job at IBM, to his passion for Krav Maga and photography.

Meantime, the Aunt of one of the suspects arrested says she is also thinking of Zeng's family.

"My prayer definitely goes out to them but my prayers also go out to my nephew," said Terresa Jones.

Jones' nephew is 22-year-old Byron Reed who is charged with special circumstance murder and second-degree robbery.

According to charging documents, surveillance video shows Reed was the getaway driver. Reed was previously convicted in November 2017 on second-degree robbery in San Francisco, per charging documents.

"They'll read something and say oh well he has a prior he had to do it and we gotta stop doing that," said Jones.

RELATED: Oakland announces new plan to crack down on violence after man killed in laptop theft

"You automatically think that because of a prior they're guilty automatically and that's what's wrong with our system," she also said.

Oakland Police have also arrested 21-year-old Javon Lee. He's charged with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree robbery.

Attorney Chris Lamiero is representing Lee.

"I literally just came into this case just met Mr. Lee for the first time, had brief discussions with him I have not even had an opportunity to review the discovery," said Lamiero.

Both men are scheduled to be back in court on Jan. 16 to enter pleas.