Home What'd I See? What’d I See? Debrief On Friday’s Armed Incident In San Ramon

What’d I See? Debrief On Friday’s Armed Incident In San Ramon


We covered this as it was happening yesterday and believe we covered all the bases with our readership then but San Ramon PD has issued an after-action report of sorts on yesterday’s (Friday, April 26) armed standoff in San Ramon.

Firstly, we’ve touched on the issue of coverage of these things and have expressed concern that they are very often “swept under the rug.” Whether you believe in that great big, dusty rug or not, we’ve had our say and we’ll say now we were pleasantly surprised to see an update from the folks at San Ramon PD – issued today, Saturday.

That Friday’s incident should happen so soon after our story on the related question of how these types of incidents should be covered could not have been foreseen or predicted – though we did say something like it was likely to happen again. And so it did, with a happily alternative ending to others we’ve covered, and with an official notice from police outlining why a neighborhood was essentially under lockdown while armored cars and SWAT officers prowled the streets was eventually released.

Things for residents of Canyon Lakes Drive in San Ramon kicked off at about 12:23 p.m. Friday, when the panicked wife of a resident in the 2100 block of that street phoned police that her husband had threatened to kill her and others, had armed himself and was drinking, retreating to a room inside their home.

Police responded, sealed off the immediate area, were able to evacuate the woman and others from the home while attempting to establish communications with the male – still inside and with apparent access to weapons.

For insight into how we operate, we heard about this incident from neighbors and friends and reached out to police for information with the understanding that they were engaged in a tactical operation we were loathe to interrupt in any way. We were gratified to receive and establish patient communication with police, but withheld information in order to keep people from attempting to access the area.

Those familiar with it know how our Flash Alert system works and it began to pulse with questions from users, and we responded with information on the standoff as more officers and more gear began to arrive.

Ultimately, the man police were focused on – subsequently identified as Brian Richard Smith, 60, of San Ramon – walked out of his residence and was taken into custody without further incident at about 6:20pm. Eleven rifles, shotguns, and pistols were recovered from the home during a police search.

Smith was booked for making terrorist threats and exhibiting a firearm in a threatening manner.

No one, we’re happy to say, was hurt during the incident – something which was not the case in other incidents we’ve covered which merited little or no word from officials at the time.

Our thanks to San Ramon PD for their valuable time Friday and a followup report today.


  1. Sounds like a tactically sound operation and information provided to the media when appropriate, congrats to all.

    Firestone 11R

    • Several people have asked us about that. We weren’t aware of one being sent out there. It may have been on an unrelated call.

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