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Walnut Creek Parking Lot Shootout Captured On Camera; Victim Arrested After Returning Fire


Walnut Creek police are asking for the public’s help in identifying two suspects involved in yesterday’s shooting outside a Newell Avenue liquor store and said that an apparent robbery victim had been arrested for returning gunfire during the incident.

As we reported Thursday, the shooting took place at about 6:23 p.m. in the parking lot outside Newell Liquors in the 1200 block of Newell Avenue. Officers responding to reports of gunfire in the area found bullet casings, shattered glass and drops of blood in the area as subsequent reports of victims turning up at local hospitals filtered in.

Two men treated for non-life threatening wounds and are in stable condition, according to police. Video surveillance of the parking lot showed a light colored sedan roll up behind a parked black Escalade as its occupants were getting into the vehicle. Two armed, masked suspects approached the passenger side of the parked vehicle and immediately opened fire on a man in the passenger seat.

That victim was struck at least once, according to police. The driver of the parked vehicle, John Rankin, returned fire at the two suspects as he was exiting his vehicle, one of his shots hitting an innocent bystander seated in a nearby car. Rankin’s shots also struck a second vehicle that was parked in the parking lot. The suspects, described only as adult males with dark skin, fled the scene in an unknown make and model vehicle.

Police arrested John Rankin for Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Shooting into an Inhabited Vehicle as police continued their investigation of the incident.

No motive for the shooting has been determined at this time, according to police.

If anyone has information regarding this incident please call Detective Leonard at 925-256-3523.

Arrested: John Rankin
Date of Birth: 09/28/1991
Residence: Detroit, Michigan

PC 245 (A)(2)-Assault with a Deadly Weapon/Firearm
PC 246-Discharge Firearm at an Occupied Vehicle


  1. That looked more like a hit than anything else. Run up on the blind side open the door and start shooting.

  2. That one guy just strolls through the scene and clears the doorway to the store a millisecond before all hell breaks loose.

  3. Four dead at Orinda Senior Care…possibly of neglect. I think that is news, too, although I can’t supply video.

      • That story is 6+ weeks old. The new story would be that 4 people from Orinda Care Center have died, and the Center is being investigated for possible neglect.

        • Orinda Care Center has had issues for some time unfortunately, and appears to be embroiled in an ongoing worker/owner dispute. Very sad. As for the equally distressing incident in Walnut Creek I think it safe to assume it is probably tied to some other underlying reason, probably criminal in nature. That it should surface in Walnut Creek is distressing – gunfire on our streets is not optimal and obviously had implications.

  4. No motive? You’ve got to be kidding. Council Members, Chamber of Commerce, Real Estate Agents: You good with this?

  5. WC Detectives have some work ahead of them. Who is Rankin from Detroit? What is his social circle? The victim passenger?… What are his? The car pulling up seemed to “know” what they were hitting. Not random, targeted.

    • Morning, TC, we can’t say for sure ’cause we don’t carry a badge but we’d be willing to guess those were all questions investigators were asking shortly after this incident occurred…

  6. Yes I’m sure there is a back story to this and I hope they can figure it out. And yes those escalades are sure ugly cars. No more gunplay on our streets would be nice.

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