Victim still unidentified in Albany park bench shooting

ALBANY, Calif. (KGO) -- When a murder happens right next door, or across the street, or even down the road in a normally quiet suburb, it's too close to home. That sets the tone in Albany after a shooting along the Ohlone Greenway, beneath the BART tracks.

"I'm shocked," said walker Valarie Kippen.

"Who was it?" asked Albany resident Rina Hoffer.

Albany police say the victim died in a hospital after they found him on this park bench with a gunshot wound. Regulars speculate he may have been the man who had taken up residence, here, two weeks ago.

No one knew his name, just his demeanor. "Really tidy. Just tidy. I don't know how to explain it," said Valerie Kippen, who walks in the area regularly.

It is notable as Albany's first murder in three years an only the third in fifteen. Earthquakes happen more often here.

"I would not imagine there would be a murder here," said Hoffer.

"It's usually a quiet, peaceful town," added Rich Smith, who has lived in Albany since 1981.

But on the day after a murder there is no reassurance in whatever happens "usually."

"The world is changing. People get shot on freeways. It's weird to me," said Albany resident Rich Smith.

As Albany moves on, police tape gone, the bench is just a resting place again in the community, where on the surface, life has returned to normal but now with a wary edge.

ABC7 News asked Albany Police if they would confirm the victim as a homeless person. They did not.

If you have any information about the incident, you can contact the Albany Police Department at 510-525-7300. If you have information and wish to remain anonymous, you can call 1-800-222-TIPS.

Bay City News contributed to this report.
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