3 Dead, 7 Wounded in Cupertino Shootings; Suspect Still at Large

Shareef Allman. Photo from the City of Cupertino web site.

Update Thursday, Oct 6: For the latest news on this story, click here.

Wednesday’s updates

The latest from AP:

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — The search for a disgruntled employee accused of killing three co-workers and injuring six others at a Northern California limestone quarry brought SWAT teams in armored vehicles to the normally quiet streets of Silicon Valley on Wednesday.

The hunt for Shareef Allman of San Jose began after authorities said he opened fire at a routine safety meeting at Permanente Quarry around 4:15 a.m. and later wounded a woman in a failed carjacking.

Schools were closed or on lockdown in Cupertino, home of Apple Inc., and in neighboring communities as authorities went door to door with guns drawn and residents were warned to stay indoors.

Meanwhile, friends and neighbors expressed disbelief and sadness at the possibility that the man they knew as an outgoing, engaged member of the community could have committed such horrific acts of violence.

Allman became upset and left the meeting then returned with a handgun and rifle and started shooting people, Santa Clara County sheriff’s Lt. Rick Sung said. About 15 workers were at the meeting during the shooting, which authorities said lasted about two minutes.

Sheriff Laurie Smith released the names of the dead Wednesday evening as Manuel Pinon, 48, of Newman, Calif., and John Vallejos, 51 and Mark Munoz, 59, both of San Jose.

“We still believe the suspect is armed and dangerous,” Smith said. “How dangerous is he? He murdered three people today.”

Six others at the quarry were wounded and taken to hospitals, where some remained in critical condition, Smith said.

The names of the victims have not been released.

Relatives of victims and other employees rushed to the quarry to check on their loved ones. One woman, who asked to remain anonymous because the gunman was still at large, said her father worked at the quarry for about 10 years and was the lead employee on the night shift.

She said he called his family around 4:30 a.m. to say something was happening and not to pick him up. He called again just after 6 a.m. to say he was OK but was hiding.

He called a third time to say he was coming out of hiding.

Later in the day, authorities located Allman’s vehicle and seized a shotgun, a handgun and two rifles believed to belong to the suspect, Smith said, adding that some of the weapons were found in the car.

“The challenges are the big geographical area,” she said of the manhunt. “The challenges are that he’s armed.” Full article here

Update 8:16 p.m. From the Bay Citizen: Factory Where Alleged Gunman Worked Has Long History of Safety Violations

Earlier updates, from Shuka Kalantari:

Update 4:30pm from twitter.com/abc7newsBayArea: #CUPERTINO UPDATE: Sunnyvale residents who couldn’t get to their homes due to the search are being allowed to return if they show ID.

The San Jose Mercury News is live-blogging the story, providing frequent updates.

You can follow how the story developed throughout the day by reading the entries below:

Earlier updates

  • From KCBS: “Laurelwood Elementary School in Santa Clara is sending students away from school as authorities search for a gunman suspected in two deaths.”
  • Also from KCBS: “Authorities say they suspect Shareef Allman, 45, in several shootings in Cupertino this morning. He may be holed up in a house near HP.”
  • SWAT teams are outside the HP facility, at Homestead and Tantau.
  • A fellow employee tells KRON that he was acting strangely yesterday and was unusually withdrawn.
  • The Merc is live-blogging:

    Shareef William Allman, the suspect, has a relatively minor record mostly consisting of driving with a supspended license dating back to the 1990s. His last conviction was in 1994. His most serious conviction was a 1992 misdemeanor charge for forgery for which he served a small amount of jail time.He sometimes goes by Frank Allman.

  • KRON TV interviewed a spokespeson for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. She said the hospital has received two patients from the first shooting, at the quarry. One has been released, the other is in fair condition. The hospital has also received the woman injured int he attempted carjacking. She is also in fair condition.
  • From KRON TV: Co-workers say Shareef Allman is usually very outgoing and demonstrative, that he would frequently wave to colleagues with a big smile, but that recently he became noticeably sullen.
  • Lisa Ignacio of the superintendent’s office of the Sunnyvale School District says schools are NOT under lockdown. They are monitoring the situation. The district has K-8 schools. The students will get out today around 2:20-2:30pm.
  • From the Merc’s live blog:

    Shareef Allman’s 1999 Mercury 2-door hatchback was found in the middle of the Pho Little Saigon restaurant, 555 Homestead Road, near the perimeter where police are conducting the search.

    and…

    Suspect Shareef Allman lives at Stonegate Apartments on Renaissance Drive in San Jose. Police are keeping reporters away from the apartment complex.

    Paulette Conner said she saw police as they approached Allman’s daughter earlier this morning.

    “He’s my dad,” Conner overheard the daughter tell officers. She looked scared and terrified, Conner said. Officers took her into an apartment.

    Neighbors describe Allman as really likeable. A sharp-dressed guy who works out a lot. A single parent who goes to church. All were shocked to hear he is a suspect in a mass shooting. He is very popular with his neighbors. Neighbors said they never saw him do anything violent.

  • KQED’s Peter Jon Shuler talked to a woman name Carmen Rodriguez who says she is the sister-in-law of one of the people shot dead at the quarry. She said his name is Mark Munoz, a grandfather in his late 50s or early 60s, and that he was looking forward to retirement.
  • AP reports police are going door-to-door in their search for Allman.
  • From the City of Cupertino web site:

    All classes are cancelled at Cupertino Community Center. Quinlan Community center has also cancelled all the preschool classes at Quinlan Community Center and Monta Vista Recreation Center.

    Cupertino Senior Center and Cupertino Sports Center are open.

    Cupertino Union Schools District (elementary and middle) schools are open and students are kept under shelter.

    Cupertino High School is in lockdown and students are being asked to shelter in place.

    Monta Vista High School is closed and students are asked to stay at home.

    Homestead High School is closed and students are asked to stay at home.

    Fremont and Lynbrook High Schools are open.

  • Photos from the Merc.
  • KQED’s Stephanie Martin interviewed an HP employee who says he was an eyewitness to the attempted carjacking in the company’s parking lot. An edited transcript is below the audio.Audio: HP employee Enrico Balanuuit describes the attempted carjacking of a fellow employee:http://ww2.kqed.org/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2011/10/hpeyewitness.mp3|titles=hpeyewitness

    Enrico Balanuuit

    I parked, and it just so happened my coworker had also parked at the same time. We got there around 6:55, and a couple of feet away, there’s an African American guy, around 6 feet, 200 pounds, he asked me, “hey what time do I need to submit the application?”

    “Application for what?”

    “Warehousing.”

    I was kind of skeptical, why is he asking? It’s around 6:55 in the morning. Then I said, well, go to the front lobby.

    “What time do they open?” he asked.

    “8 o’clock.”

    “Ok.”

    I proceeded to go upstairs, I thought he was going to go to the lobby, but he went to a different area in the parking lot. I went to the 2nd floor, and I noticed I brought my gym bag with me instead of my laptop bag. So I went downstairs to switch my bags, and I saw the guy, and he was trying to talk to my coworker, she’s like 50 yards away from where my car was parked.

    I can see from the window, I’m on the driver’s side, back seat. I noticed he chased her. I think he was trying to get something. He grabbed her and then he punched her. Then after he punched her, I tried to hide, was trying to get in the car and go help Terumi, but then when I was hiding, I heard two shots. Pow pow. I tried to hide.

    When I saw he punched her, I had started dialing 911. So I was already with 911, and I mentioned two shots were fired. I was going to hide in the parking lot by the car, but I said he may have somebody there around him. So the best place to go is — I dashed inside the building, and went around so he doesn’t see me.

    I was about to take the stairs, but he can see me. So I have to go around the building and I alerted my coworkers. I was running because I want to go back there to make sure Terumi was safe and not killed. And then I noticed the guy had fled. When I went back there the guy wasn’t there anymore.

    Stephanie Martin

    What happened to Terumi?

    Enrico Balanuuit

    She was shot on the right side, because I saw when I approached her — she was still kind of shocked. The punch landed on her face because I saw her nose broken. Her eyeglasses flew and then, I don’t know if she was still carrying her laptop because we always carry our laptops. There was a bullet hole in the jacket, it was on the lower right side of her body.

  • Here’s the latest information from a briefing given by Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith at around 12:15 p.m.

    -One of the victims has died at the hospital. The new casualty total is three dead, seven wounded.

    -Four weapons have been recovered, but Allman, still at large, is considered armed and dangerous.

    -Smith called Allman a “disgruntled employee.”

    -Law enforcement entities on the scene include the San Jose Police Dept., Sunnvale Police Department, Campbell Police Department, FBI, US Marshall’s office, and Department of Homeland Security.

    -If anyone sees anything suspicious in the area, call 911.

    -For family members of the victims, the hotline is 408 777 3200.

    -If you have any information related to the event, call 408 808 4500.

    -The suspect has weapons registered to him, but it’s unclear if they are the same ones used in the shooting.

    -All the employees at the original shooting incident, at the quarry, were men.

    Update 2:50 p.m. Here’s raw video of the sheriff’s press conference, from KGO:

  • The Merc interviewed two people who knew Allman:

    Johnnie Gray, founder of the East Palo Boxing Club has known Allman for the past 10 years. He said both Allman and his daughter had been involved with boxing and martial arts for many years in East Palo Alto and San Jose. Gray described him as “always a mild-mannered-type guy.” ———————————————————————————————————- James Ragland, a janitorial supervisor at Valley Medical, is good friends with Shareef Allman. “It’s not him. Something happened between the job and whatever else personally was going on in his life, a breakdown maybe.” I saw him a couple months ago down at the San Jose Jazz Festival. He’s also a Christian man, and we spoke. I asked how his comedian project was going. That was his lifelong dream to be a comedian. He was pretty funny. There were no signs, no warning no nothing. He was smiling. He was always jolly. Overall he was a really good person a really committed father. He was a single parent so we had a lot in common. We also talked about being single parents and life in general.”

  • Four people who say that they know Allman personally have left comments here expressing shock that he would commit these acts. Here’s one of them:

    I am in shock as well, this is a great man, a great great great man a single father and a hard worker. I’ve known Shareef over the past 27 years. Always smiling, quiet and love to laugh. Whatever trigger this, it wasn’t Shareef. In saying I am pleading and praying he will surrender and let the Lord be his attorney and guide in this terrible situation.

    Allman’s YouTube videos

    Update 10:30 a.m. On YouTube, there is a 2009 video of an interview from a local cable TV station in San Jose with a man named Shareef Allman who looks like the suspect. At around 5:57 into the interview, the interviewer mentions that the man has a day job as a “miner.” The man says, “Yes I’m a miner…I drive heavy equipment, I’ve been doing that for 13 years now. I’m above ground mining, not underground mining.” (update 11 a.m.: These videos have been removed. There are more YouTube videos featuring Allman still up.)

    There has been no confirmation yet that the man interviewed is the same Shareef Allman who is a suspect in today’s shootings. But the Merc’s live blog says it’s the same man:

    Shareef Allman is a producer of a show called Real 2 Real on San Jose’s CreatTV. In a video interview, he told the host that his “day job” is as a miner who drives heavy equipment. He also has written a book called “Amazing Grace,” a book intended to empower women against domestic violence.

    KQED’s Peter Jon Shuler showed this YouTube video to Lt. Rick Sung of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office. Sung said he had no idea if the man in the video was the suspect.

    Update: A statement from Suzanne St. John-Crane, Executive Director of CreaTV San Jose:

    Shareef Allman was one of 130 Community producers at CreaTV. He is not an employee. Our hearts go out to the families who were affected by this. This is not the Shareef we knew, at all.

    Allman also interviewed Jesse Jackson in 2010:

Related

  • susan

    I am still in shock about the news on Shareef Allman. I have known this man for over twenty years, these actions are so out to character.

  • mijette

    I am really shocked and I need to know more before I can say anything but that this man was friendly, kind and helped the community alot. Every since his 20’s. I am sad for him and the victims as well. I am not sure if he really did it, so I must wait for jury,judge,witnesses and due process.

  • Michael

    I am in shock as well, this is a great man, a great great great man a single father and a hard worker. I’ve known Shareef over the past 27 years. Always smiling, quiet and love to laugh. Whatever trigger this, it wasn’t Shareef. In saying I am pleading and praying he will surrender and let the Lord be his attorney and guide in this terrible situation.

    Love you Dawg!

  • tina harper

    SHAREEF WAS A DEAR FRIEND TO ME 4 20 YEARS, WE WERE AT 1 TIME IN A RELATIONSHIP, AND NEVER WAS HE VIOLENT, HE ALWAYS SMILED, AND HELPED ME WITH THE NEIGHBORHOOD CHILDREN IN ACTIVITIES, MY HEARTS, AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE VICTIMS, AS WELL AS HIS 2 CHILDREN, AND I PRAY THAT THIS HAS A PEACEFUL ENDING

  • concerned

    scared sunnyvale citizen :(

  • susan

    And this is how I thought it would end. Shareef is dead and now we will never know the entire story. All I know is he will be missed

Author

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor