Town Square

Post a New Topic

Palo Alto police seek shooter of random gunfire

Original post made on Feb 22, 2012

For the second time in a week someone has fired off a gun in Palo Alto's residential neighborhoods, and police want to find the culprit.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 2:53 PM

Comments (33)

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm

And guns are meant to be safe???

Tighten our gun laws to prevent the next case of this killing someone!


Posted by what kind of gun?, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm

What kind of shell casings were they? The cops should ask residents to report suspicious people who own guns compatible with those casings.


Posted by Not Easy to Solve, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Resident:

How do you know that the gun in question is legal? I personally have no idea, but given that the vast majority of crimes involving a firearm involve an illegal one, tightening the law isn't likely to do much good.


Posted by JustMe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm

"The cops should ask residents to report suspicious people who own guns compatible with those casings."

What? Are you aware of which of your neighbors have guns and what types they are? If you (heaven forbid) have guns, are your neighbors aware of their details? Have you considered that even in the unlikely event the people in this area are fully aware of the firearms owned by everyone else, the gun(s) that fired these casings were very likely brought from out of the area? Is there intelligent life on your planet?


Posted by what type of gun?, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 22, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Asking for tips from the public about guns isn't going to work every time. Asking for tips based on vague suspect descriptions doesn't work every time either (or even most of the time), but the cops still try. What do the cops have to lose by trying?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2012 at 9:25 am

Not easy

I feel sure that most guns involved in crimes like this were once legally held and got into the wrong hands.

It is for reasons like this that we need to tighten up our gun laws. Web Link


Posted by Jeff, a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 23, 2012 at 9:56 am

The police haven't reported what type the cases were. Evidently there were 7 cases recovered from Maddux.
As for those who own guns: parents, go check your guns. My personal guess? A kid who got a parent's gun and is fooling around.


Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2012 at 10:24 am

Okay, we should all know that tightening gun laws WON'T change a thing. The guns used in any crime are almost always throw-aways! They are NOT purchased by the shooter at the local gun shop with his ID and fingerprints (or his own credit card!) They are stolen, used and re-sold to the next person. So throw that theory out the door.
I can't say how those criminals can be caught, but gun laws don't stop or detour them in any way.
PS. I don't own or even like guns, so I am not some gun activist - I just use common sense.


Posted by Old Town Paly Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 23, 2012 at 10:42 am

Heeeeeelllllloooooo! It's not the guns nor the laws that are the problem, it's the people using them in such irresponsible ways. Sheesh


Posted by Ronnie, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2012 at 10:48 am

Rather than hashing out the decades old gun-control argument, lets all try to be a little more pragmatic - keep an eye out for unfamiliar people and cars in your neighborhoods, and try to jot down plate numbers and descriptions when you can.
The first incident was at 4:30am, and from another thread on here, it sounded like someone may have got a description even then. The 2nd one was at 5:15pm - full daylight and everyone awake.
No need to panic (even though it is very scary!) but just keep calm and observe and we'll have a much better chance of catching this person.
If they would say the caliber of the shells, it would be helpful to know if they were related, and if we are looking at a pistol or a rifle.


Posted by Things-That-Go-Bang-In-The-Middle-Of-The-Night., a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2012 at 10:49 am

Interesting that the Police have not identified the caliber of the weapon(s) used, or made claims that the same weapon was used both times.

Has the Weekly pushed them on this?

Oh, and any chance the shooter was using blanks?

BTW--any chance the EPA gun shot detection system picked up anything?


Posted by daniel, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm

If guns weren't so easily available to just about anyone, there wouldn't be so many guns on the black market:guess where those guns originated. Our society seems to be on a suicide mission. The society with the most stupid, delusional and violent people allows everybody to own an arsenal of weapons.


Posted by Things-That-Go-Bang-In-The-Middle-Of-The-Nigh, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm

> If guns weren't so easily available to just about anyone,
> there wouldn't be so many guns on the black market

And where do "so many gun" originate?

(Maybe it's time for this poster to google "gun walker" and "fast and furious".0


Posted by Same, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Feb 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Same thing has been happening up in the hills where we live ... near Foothills Park.
Twice in the past month we've been awkened in the middle of the night (once at 2 am, once at 4:30 am) by gunfire.


Posted by Utterly disgusted, a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm

To "by what kind of gun", Ever hear of Nazi Germany? "are you or your neighbors hiding jews?" Even if you knew from having dinner, going to the range, or a hunting trip, what firearms I owned, that is none of your business to go call the authorities up.

I am convinced, it truly is the PRC (PEOPLES REPUBLIC CALIFORNIA) Just wait till they start handing out the uniforms and send us all to work camps.


Posted by urange, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm

they'll send you to work camps for smokin' pot. they want to.


Posted by helene, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm

My question is, why did it take till last night (Feb.22) for me to learn about these incidents on the 10:00'clock news. If the first one was last
Thursday, I think we should have been notified by the police or perhaps via Palo Alto online as soon as this happened. What happen to safety
and keeping the public informed?


Posted by VoxPop, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm

@helene: Actually, the first report appeared on the forum last Thursday.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Ditto. First Maddux incident seemed mixed up with the Colorado 7-Eleven armed robbery. Thurs Feb 16 3:45am vs Thurs Feb 16 6:15am, do I have those times right?


Posted by TK, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm

If it were blanks the cops would know, the cases are very different. The only way to have cases which didn't show as being blanks would be if the shooter were firing wax bullets (a la Cowboy Action Shooting).

Making a semi-auto (implied from the recovery of casings from the location) cycle with blanks requires modifications to the weapon (a way to block the gasses, so the slide will actuate. Those modifications can be reversed, but not in a trivial amount of time (for a handgun, rifles can be much easier to temporarily modify).

It seems quite likely the shot locator was used, since the cartridge cases were found in short order, in the dark/early morning twilight.

TK
SSG, USA (ret)
Unit Armorer


Posted by Ronnie, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm

According to an email from Chief Burns being circulated to the Midtown Residents Association, the ShotSpotter didn't pick up anything because the detectors were too far away to be of any use.

TK - I appreciate the background. I had wondered about blanks too b/c (thankfully) we haven't heard about the bullets coming down anywhere.
Query: I've often seen footage of soldiers and Marines training with red "blocks" on the muzzles of their rifles. Is that what you are talking about with blanks and the gas system?
Thanks for your service!!


Posted by Eileen Wright, a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm

The Second Amendment gives Apericans the right to own guns. Since an unusable gun denies the basic purpose of gun ownership, it also gives the right to use them. Denying that right is a taking under the Fifth Amendment.

The police ought to focus their attention on substantial issues, like illegal immigrants, not on harrassing people exercising their Constitutional rights.


Posted by Utterly disgusted, a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2012 at 5:33 pm

As a conceal carry holder, and an avid shooter, Eilleen, this is a big issue! You cannot be shooting in the middle of a residential area. The bigger issue the response, and what this will mean for the 99.9999% of responsible gun owners. (yea unlike the 99% we are actually 99.999%) Having people rat you out because you won guns, is Nazi, and making gun control harder, in a an already ridiculous state is a joke. All these liberals seem to think you can buy a gun in 5 minutes on every street corner. I dare you to go to a sporting good store and try to purchase a weapon, fill out the paperwork, feel like a criminal (purchasing firearms in california is a very emotionless cold process, when compared to other states) and wait your 10 days... its BS and does nothing to keep you safe.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Eileen Wright - your post was convoluted & had some typos. What are you trying to say?

Ronnie - why do you think that the shooters would be outsiders?

Now you all know what we go through. It's scary, isn't it? I'm glad the bullets haven't found a live target.


Posted by TK, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Yes, the red blocks are blank adapters. They are a metal cage, which fits around the muzzle brake, and there is a steel rod which blocks the muzzle (think Bugs Bunny with his finger in Elmer Fudd's rifle).

The amount of powder required to cycle the action is pretty small.

If, however, anyone were to fire a live round, the result would be a burst barrel (at the very least). Converting a pistol requires a different barrel, so; as I think about it more, it could, depending on the weapon, be anything from about 30 seconds, to as long as twenty minutes, to swap a blank adapted barrel to a standard barrel.


Posted by A Resident, a resident of Gunn High School
on Feb 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Thought it was just my imagination and shrugged it off on Tuesday, but I heard several other shots last night as well.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I heard one shot last night around 10:40, but it was a transformer or circuit breaker event associated with a momentary electrical power glitch. I think other neighborhoods may have had a more prolonged blackout, but I saw nothing in the news. At any rate, plenty of things can sound like gunshots if that's what a person is primed to hear. Shot-spotter systems have algorithms to discriminate firecrackers or backfires, thunder or the garbage truck, but still get false positives.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Feb 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I have to wonder if the person shooting the firearms is helping to provide cover for another crime (you shoot your gun off on this side of town at X time and I'll rob the store at the same time---a lot of police already sent elsewhere).

?


Posted by GunsRbad, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Guns are Bad, since too many people have them.
unless someone is really a hunter for meat (but typically hunters just want the thrill from killing an animal. We should not need guns.


Posted by Jim H, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Thankfully, no one was killed or injured in these incidents. However, before we over-react to this situation, consider that cars driven by arrogant and irresponsible drivers (common in Palo Alto), also kill people. Before we suggest taking away a right granted by the Constitution, let's consider banning a far greater danger that isn't specifically mentioned in the Constitution - the "right" of incompetent individuals to possess and drive deadly weapons. Or are the shallow people of Palo Alto too ignorant and self-absorbed to understand reality?


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 27, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Sorry, Jim, your argument is flawed. Driving isn't a right, but a privilege. You're right about the arrogant drivers, though. Unfortunately, there's no current test for driver arrogance. Would love to see that - arrogance checkpoints, too :-))

Speaking of arrogant drivers, did you see the People Behaving Badly news segment featuring EPA? It was incredible. I think a cop may have been one of the filmed. Ad rivers, off duty.


Posted by worried, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm

im afraid that this may only be the tip of the iceberg


Posted by Jack B, a resident of University South
on Apr 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Some people say cars are bad and that we really don't need them.

But isn't gun control like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.?
Aren't most gun crimes committed by people who are already criminals and shouldn't have been allowed to own guns any way? If big government can't prevent criminals from obtaining guns by enforcing the thousands of laws already on the books, what makes anyone think that they'd be any more capable of enforcing any new laws?


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Gourmet hot dogs, sausage food truck coming to the Peninsula
By Elena Kadvany | 9 comments | 2,990 views

Allowing Unauthorized Immigrants to Learn and Earn Legally Will Help the Economy
By Steve Levy | 34 comments | 2,442 views

College applications: round three
By Sally Torbey | 24 comments | 1,801 views

Is HBO's Silicon Valley Any Good?
By Anita Felicelli | 17 comments | 1,799 views

PAUSD Leadership Challenges
By Paul Losch | 19 comments | 1,342 views