Three are dead. Seven are wounded, some in critical condition. Keep the victims and their families in your prayers. After going on a bloody early morning rampage in Cupertino, Calif., Shareef Allman is still on the loose.
His friends and colleagues can’t believe their “peaceful” community activist friend would do such a thing.
Time for a reality check:
The Shareef Allman they know would try to stop violence, not deal it out with an assault rifle in a workplace massacre.
Sunny and kind, his tattooed boxer’s biceps as big as his personality, Allman would help people when they had trouble at work, friends said Wednesday. He was the one who stopped gang fights. And he was the one on his cable show “Real 2 Real” interviewing Jessie Jackson about hope and local street walkers about salvation.
As law enforcement launched one of the largest manhunts in South Bay history, ministers and community activists who knew him tried to shake off their tearful disbelief to urge Allman to peacefully surrender.
Absurdly to them, this 47-year-old single father, who wrote a book about overcoming domestic violence, was now a major suspect in an early morning mass murder that began at Lehigh Hanson’s Permanente Cement Plant in Cupertino and left three dead and seven wounded.
Those who knew Allman said they all had the same terrible contradiction in their minds: How could Shareef — who wrote Christmas plays for churches — have done something like this?
“He’s the one who would go out and solve the problem, not to be the problem,” said Pastor Jeff Moore II, the head of the Silicon Valley NAACP, who said Allman is a sharp-dressed, peaceful and uplifting man devoted to the South Bay black community. “He was a quiet storm and I’ve never seen him lift his hand to anyone, ever. This is not the
Shareef that we know.”
People surmised there was trouble at the quarry in Cupertino, where most of the victims were killed. But few could pinpoint exactly what it was. Over and over people kept saying: He must have snapped.
The latest on the manhunt:
Shareef Allman, 47, of San Jose remained at large late Wednesday. The search was concentrated on the border between Cupertino and Sunnyvale, where Allman was last seen. Police said they had found four weapons but believed Allman remained armed and dangerous.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said Allman showed up for a scheduled 4:15 a.m. safety meeting attended by about 15 people at the Lehigh Permanente Plant, in the hills above Cupertino. He left the meeting, came back and opened fire with a rifle and handgun, she said. Smith described Allman as a disgruntled worker but did not disclose details of what preceded the shooting.
Allman was next seen in a Hewlett-Packard parking lot a mile away, where he allegedly shot an HP employee in the leg and tried to take her car. The victim was taken to a hospital, where she was listed in fair condition.
San Jose residents John Vallejos, 51, and Mark Munoz, 59, died at the quarry. Manuel Pinon, 48, of Newman, south of Modesto, died later at an area hospital. The wounded were not identified by police.
Nine law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, joined the ensuing manhunt. Sheriff’s patrol cars blocked the street leading to the plant. Helicopters flew overhead in a hard rain. Search teams at times were heard on emergency radio frequencies going door to door, sometimes roof to roof. Police cordoned off Allman’s San Jose apartment.
Some schools in the Cupertino area were locked down as word spread that the shooter remained at large.
Video of Allman with Jesse Jackson:
Update – Allman reportedly dead.
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