Police provided fresh details of an officer involved shooting that took the life of a 33-year-old Newark man Saturday, identifying both the victim and the officer who opened fire out of “immediate fear” he was going to be struck by the suspect’s car as it veered toward him.
A police spokesman identified the dead man as as 33-year-old Laudemer Arboleda of Newark. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.
The officer who discharged his weapon was identified as Deputy Sheriff Andrew Hall. He has been with the Office of the Sheriff for 5 years, currently assigned to the contract city of Danville.
Investigators said the chase leading up to the shooting, the first the town has seen since 2001, began at 11:03 a.m. when officers responded to a call from a citizen of a suspicious person near Cottage Lane and Laurel Drive in Danville.
The citizen reported seeing a person exit his vehicle, walk toward several homes with bags in his hands, go back to his car and circle the neighborhood.
Officers arrived on scene, a sheriff’s spokesman said, Arboleda ignoring commands to stop and leading officers on a pursuit. Twice during the pursuit, according to police, Arboleda pulled over as if he was going to give up. As officers exited their cars, the suspect fled in his vehicle, continuing to lead the officers in a pursuit.
It was at the intersection of Front Street and Diablo Road, police said, that Arboleda steered his car toward an officer and accelerated. Investigators said Hall fired at the car as it sped toward him. The number of shots fired was not disclosed though pictures of the vehicle taken afterward showed what appeared to be several bullet strikes to the front windshield.
Arboleda, police said, was hit and transported to the San Ramon Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced deceased.
Witnesses reported seeing police behind a grey Honda Civic on Front Street with an officer attempting to stop the car, apparently firing at the vehicle when it veered in his direction.
“I heard sirens and looked over to see police after a car – then police shouting and what sounded like shots,” said Steve Quintanilla, in Danville to do some shopping, he said. “I didn’t see the actual gunfire, no smoke, just a cracking sound but then we saw police around the car and someone inside.”
There was a sizable police presence in the area through most of the afternoon as a departmental Officer-Involved Shooting protocol was invoked and investigators swarmed into the area.
Town spokesman Geoff Gillette said that to the best of his recollection the last officer involved shooting incident to take place in Danville was on Aug. 27, 2001.
Reports that the driver jettisoned something from the car prior to the shooting could not be immediately confirmed, though officers appear to have located a substance – described as some sort of “white powder” on Laurel Drive not far from the scene.