Officers responded at 9:04 p.m. to a ShotSpotter gunshot detection system activation in the 1900 block of Manhattan Avenue and arrived to find the boy near an alley. He was taken to a hospital but died from his injuries there, police said. The name of the boy who died has not been released. Police said two male suspects were seen running toward Woodland Avenue following the shooting. No arrests have been made in the case and no suspect descriptions were available as of Tuesday morning. Monday's shooting marks the city's second homicide this year.
Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to call or text 650-409-6792 or to send an email to [email protected] Tips can be made anonymously.
— Bay City News Service
Sheriff drops plan to shutter courthouse
A proposal by Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith to close the Palo Alto and Morgan Hill courthouses due to staffing shortages has been rescinded after she reached an agreement with court administrators and county Executive's Office, the Sheriff's Office has announced.
Smith sent a memorandum to the court administration on May 27 stating plans to address staff shortages by consolidating resources from the Palo Alto and Morgan Hill courthouses and temporarily closing those locations. Both courthouses had been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Palo Alto's courthouse at 270 Grant Ave. only reopened on May 2. Closing the courthouses would have made only the Hall of Justice in San Jose available for criminal proceedings.
The Sheriff's Office provides security at all county courthouses, including within each courtroom. Smith said that a hiring freeze and the departure of many deputies to other, more lucrative agencies have reduced the number of personnel.
The announcement was met by an outcry from the court administration, particularly since Smith's memo came just prior to the Memorial Day weekend. The shutdown would have started on June 13.
On June 8, representatives from the sheriff's administrative office, the county Executive's Office and the court administration met to discuss ways to keep the two courthouses open.
In a separate internal court administration memo, administrators noted that keeping the courts open will come with a price. Operations will need to be adjusted elsewhere; where and to what extent is still to be determined.
— Sue Dremann
PE teacher charged with sexual assault
A Palo Alto Unified School District physical education teacher has been charged with sexual assault on a female student over 20 years ago, police said Wednesday afternoon.
The teacher, Peter Michael Colombo, 55, of Redwood City, was taken into custody on Wednesday after he self-surrendered to law enforcement, Palo Alto police said in a press release.
Palo Alto Unified administrators notified police in late January after receiving an email reporting that Colombo, who currently works at the school, allegedly sexually assaulted an 11-year-old sixth grader in the locker room at the former Jordan Middle School. The school, which has been renamed Greene Middle School, is located at 750 N. California Ave. The assault allegedly took place during the 2001-2002 school year.
District administrators immediately placed the teacher on administrative leave. An investigation by police and the school district found that the girl, now in her 30s, was allegedly assaulted during lunch period. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office filed one felony charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child against Colombo on Monday and a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge signed a warrant for his arrest Tuesday, according to police.
Colombo coached baseball starting at Palo Alto High School in 1998 and was the head coach from 2000 to 2005. After a brief hiatus, he returned to coach at the high school in 2011, according to a 2017 profile in the Palo Alto High School newspaper The Campanile.
He has taught in the Palo Alto Unified School District for 24 years, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Police said they are not aware of any additional alleged victims. Detectives encourage anyone who may have been victimized to contact the Palo Alto Police Department. Anyone with information about the incident or Colombo is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.
— Sue Dremann
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