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Palo Alto Police Department
Wednesday October 18th, 2023 :: 04:00 p.m. PDT


News Release: Police Safely Apprehend Suspect with Loaded Illegal Firearm

Police safely apprehended a suspect in possession of a loaded illegal firearm shortly after he entered an open grocery store and announced he was planning to rob it.  Police turned custody of the suspect over to a partner law enforcement agency, as he is a suspect in an unrelated shooting case.
On Tuesday, October 17, 2023, at about 7:27 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a passerby reporting he had just seen a man holding a gun behind his back near the intersection of El Camino Real and Embarcadero Road.  At about 7:35 p.m., an employee of Trader Joe’s at 855 El Camino Real called police to report a man had just entered grocery store, said he had a gun, and told him to call the police.
Officers arrived at Trader Joe’s at 7:37 p.m. and learned from employees that the suspect had entered an empty employee break room. At 7:40 p.m., officers safely detained the suspect in the break room without incident.  Police recovered a loaded firearm (a 9mm unregistered polymer handgun, commonly known as a “ghost gun,” equipped with an extended magazine) from the suspect’s waistband.  No one was injured during the incident.
Once back at the police station for processing, the suspect asked for paramedics due to his narcotics use.  Paramedics from the Palo Alto Fire Department responded and took him to a local hospital for treatment.
The ensuing investigation by detectives connected the suspect to an open shooting investigation by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office for an incident that occurred in the Eucalyptus groves on the Stanford University campus around 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.  As a result, Palo Alto detectives turned custody of the suspect over to the Sheriff’s Office and will be seeking attempted robbery and firearm violation charges from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office for the suspect’s actions at Trader Joe’s.  For more information on the shooting investigation, as well as the identity of the suspect, refer to the news release that will be distributed today by the Sheriff’s Office and posted to this web page:
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.

Palo Alto Police Department
275 Forest Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-329-2406

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