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Palo Alto police still looking for shooting suspect Gil-Fernandez

Original post made on Mar 24, 2009

Palo Alto police are still actively looking for Daniel Gil-Fernandez, the suspect in last Wednesday's shooting outside of an apartment complex on Arastradero Road. The shooting victim, meanwhile, has been moved out of intensive care after undergoing emergency surgery for two bullet wounds. The shooting occurred shortly after 3 p.m. March 18 near a carport of the Arastradero Park Apartments.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 12:03 PM

Comments (36)

Posted by Neighbor Parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 24, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Daniel - PLEASE contact a defense lawyer and turn yourself in. People who know you care about you and know it is not too late to turn your life around. You come from a good hard working family and they need you!! It will be a tough road, but no more difficult than the one you are currently headed down.

Posted by Family
a resident of another community
on Mar 24, 2009 at 1:13 pm

I wanted to thank Neighbor Parent for his/her comment and concern and echo his/her message. I think this is the best, most sensible advice that anyone could give Danny. Please Danny. Turn yourself in.

Posted by ...
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 24, 2009 at 3:06 pm

hes long gone

Posted by a dannys's old friend
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 24, 2009 at 3:26 pm

danny please man! you cant be hidin' forever! we still dont why you would something like we've known you since you were a little boy... we all know u have a temper! lately u were acting like if uwere mad at the world... wanted to be something else that u werent, ur family are really sad even though u tought they didnt care, we all do, last time i took my buddies there and u went up to them kuzin at them telling them off! telling them go away.. what were they doing there?thankly they ignored u, this one dude had no clue man! he acted tough look what he got... just danny turn yourself in man... u know that u made a mistake... u didnt know this dude... why the hate? all this little kids were there... u put so many lives in danger man... we know u are scared... u dont even know how u got to here... running away... u were a man to buy a gun and shoot now be a man to turn urself in... have the guts man... like u had the guts to shoot eight time to this dude man! we all love you cant believe u did it!

Posted by YSK
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 24, 2009 at 3:53 pm

You KNOW his family has to know where he is. Or at least know how to reach him. TURN HIM IN! Look what just happened in Oakland. Turn this guy in before the situation gets worse for him, and for everyone else around him!

Posted by someone who loves the Lakers
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Mar 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Why does it take so long to cathch these shooters? It took a million years for them to find Otto Komoto. Now this guy. Boo!

Posted by Blake
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Loves the Lakers,

All depends on how hard someone trys to hide I suppose. It didn't take a "million years" to find Koloto either. I respect the process enough to know that it's difficult to track someone down and realize that it's not like watching a TV show. Work like this doesn't get done in the confines of a single episode. Any reasonable person would recognize this, but again, the loudest critics are usually the ones who know and understand the least.

Posted by YSK
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Blake, you said it perfectly. The loudest critics ARE two types, the ones that don't understand the process, and the lawless themselves.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 24, 2009 at 7:15 pm

I agree w/ lakers fan that the papd is often too late. A good reason for this is the fact that palo alto is such a safe community that when rare instances like this happen, the entire community, including police, are completely surprised and rightfully so. The cops on the force who work exclusively in palo alto don't deal w/ violent felons, parolees and other serious criminals on a daily basis so when situations like this come up I can understand if they get a little mixed up. But unfortunately police officers aren't allowed to make excuses, they are always expected to be perfect. It may not be fair but that's the career they chose. The fact that the koloto guy can shoot someone in the head right out front of the police department, at a time when officers are both inside the building and outside in the surrounding blocks patrolling bars, and stay on the run for 3 1/2 months kind of makes you scratch your head a little.

Posted by MAN UP!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2009 at 7:21 pm

He will end up getting caught...those on the run never last long...look at the boy who was on trial for murder and escaped from San Mateo Juvenile Hall...he was found in another state for attempted robbery or something like that.

But it is true...his FAMILY has to know where he is. Who else would he turn to? It doesn't take genius to figure that out.

And to the previous comment by Danny's Old Friend...A man can go out and get a gun, but it take a SMART person to know how and when to use it!!!

Posted by Mr G
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 24, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Daniel you found out that fear turns to anger anger turns to hate the only fruit hate produces is suffering.
We are all scared, the future is uncertain, but we have to dig deep and find strength to keep moving foward. How we evaluate things and what we focus on is a choice. Whats wrong is always available but whats right is always available also.
Things don't always go our way. We all have dreams and aspirations of greatness. Violence has proven to be over the ages the fastest way for an common man of modest means to reach significance. I bet you felt powerfull when you pulled out that gun. Even though you are a 1st generation mexican american a high school drop out with no job you felt certain the other guy would react to you. You see no job, no education, no connections, no family influence, dad calling you the 'black sheep' of the family it does not matter when you have a gun. You are instantly significant. In addition you connect in some sick way with the other person. You see you have learned to use violence to meet your emotional needs. You are a great kid. You have many people who love you. Think about your mother, her heart is pure, police stormed in and made her and your family ly face down on the floor because of you. Did they deserve that? They only want the best for you, you have disappointed them and they probably gave you guilt trips and compared you to others but did they deserve that? Don't throw it all away. Get representation and turn yourself in. Forget Mexico, is my opinion only more fear and hate is waiting there for a troubled young mind. Put away the fear, be a man pray for strength.

Posted by DoTheRightThing
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 24, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Danny, We want to help you, but you will really need to help yourself. The legal experts say that you should ONLY talk to a lawyer - a defense lawyer - and have them negotiate for you. If your family and friends want to help, they can help you find a good lawyer. Help stop the violence. Here is some legal advice for you and your family from this site:

Web Link

Posted by RealNieghbor
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Mar 24, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Why do people assume that the family knows where he is? I know the family and believe it or not, they are a good family that has struggled with Danny for years and cooperated with police time after time. People can assume what they want, but I know that anyone that knows the family personally, knows this. People can believe what they want, but this family will have told the police if they knew where he was at. The truth will come out someday!!!

Posted by YouShouldKnow
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 24, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Help me to understand the thinking process when people think cops should have somehow been a deterrant to a crime committed right outside of City Hall.

First, we don't give our cops enough latitude to do their jobs. That is becoming more and more apparent.

Second, look at how it may work, put yourself in the picture:

You are outside City Hall. Someone pisses you off, spur of the moment, you shoot them. You realize what you have done, and you flee. This has taken all of what? 90 seconds? Now you are on the run and people either help you (in which case they aren't talking, don't want to implicate themselves) or not, in this case no one knows where you are, or what you are up to. Regardless, you are on the run, you have left the locale. By the time you hit the City limits, what, two miles away, the cops are just discovering the crime, you are already miles away. YOU have the benefit of knowing who you are and what you did, the cops are now trying to ascertain that information from a dying victim and excited (and maybe drunk) witnesses. At this point in the investigation, who has the advantage? Who has the greater interest here? The cops want badly to find you, YOU want even more to stay hidden. Think logically about it, and you would not be so critical of the police. There is a lot of crime in larger cities that is never solved. Palo Alto is doing pretty well in that regard.

I heard the same question asked with this shooting. Somehow, the cops should be omniscent. They should know when every crime is about to happen, and post an officer there for an on the spot apprehension. I would love reading the posts in that circumstance. Everybody whining about this being a police state. A witness reported the guy was running through the park, the police focused their energies where the witnesses directed. Later it was ascertained he fled in a car from a different place. What psychic powers do you expect the police to possess? The police know who the suspect is, and I am confident they will bust their butts to find and arrest him. That's all you can reasonably expect from any police department. Then hope we get a good no nonsense tough on crime prosecutor to put his miserable butt away.

Posted by William
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 25, 2009 at 10:35 am

Why are you people sending personal messages to him on this forum? Do you think that he is down at Happy Donuts with a cup of joe, perusing the web?

Posted by jen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 25, 2009 at 10:35 am

A photo would be nice

Posted by WiFi
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 25, 2009 at 11:25 am

Wait---Happy doughnuts has WiFi? They should really advertise this...

Posted by Denise
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 25, 2009 at 11:58 am

Has his family been asked to move from Arastradero Park Apartments? I am sure his family knows where he is and how to get in touch with him. Arastradero Park Apartments are predominantly family units and I don't think it is safe to have the family of a violent fugative in this complex. His family can be the greatest family but a parent with protect their child.

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 25, 2009 at 12:18 pm

I do not think it fair to stigmatize the family in this case.

For all we know they have and will cooperate with PAPD.

This case is still a mystery as far as the public is concerned, it looks like the cooperation of the victim will be important.

What needs to change is the whole culture of calling law abiding community "snitches".

This culture makes it very difficult to prosecute gang members and thugs because witnesses and victims are fearful of testifying.

Posted by Someone out there
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 25, 2009 at 12:19 pm

People talk. Danny will get these messages. Power of the word -whatever the forum. Peace to all.

Posted by knewsuspectandvictim
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 25, 2009 at 2:49 pm

i think danny run away to mexicooooooooo... it only takes like eight hours to get there by car....!!!!

Posted by Mr G
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 25, 2009 at 6:59 pm

No this board is not really for danny its for the family and people who stay behind. Like a funeral, its not for the dead guy its for support of the family. The dead guy is dead.

The family can see that Danny is somebody. No one desired that he throw his life away. He is a troubled young man who can still turn things around. Like the 1st post it will be a tough road but no tougher than the road in is now on.

As a community we can invite 14 year olds to our home for dinner or invite them to a ball game or just have em over for some popcorn.
They can see with thier own 2 eyes that there are alternatives to violence.

Sadly though no one wants to do that. The media pumps us full of fear. Fear of the brown man. What if this 14 your old that I take in for dinner only takes advantage of the situation to scope out what I have and later steal my stuff? I worked hard for my stuff. I put up with crap from my boss an worked long hours even skipped breaks and lunches on many occasions. All this stuff makes me a good citizen and makes me feel good. I think?

Well we don't know if the young one takes mental pictures of our house for later stealing, but one thing is certian white mans fear of the brown man.

All kids go thru a phase were they keenly see hypocracy in parents.
As parents we can't hide from our kids. We can't expect them not to lie to us if we fudge numbers and lie on our income tax. We can expect them to say no to drugs if we smoke and drink to the point of slurred speach and stentch.

If we blow it say sorry. Important point. Put your pride aside and look em in the eye.

The Columbine High School massacre in Colorado is 10 years old next month. These kids where crying out loud for help in thier own way. There were many signs, but did anyone listen? To busy working hard to buy stuff. Ensuring a better stuff buying future.

We can all take a part. Invite a troubled kid into your home. Let him see the sights smell the smells hear the sounds to family and home. Danny had this but would another perspective hurt? Jr. High say the experts is the best time to make an impact. Not at 19.

Posted by warriors
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 25, 2009 at 10:15 pm

I do not like the lakers, Dannys in Mexico.

Posted by Mr G
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 25, 2009 at 11:42 pm

What is that 'I don't like that lakers?' is that code?

So Danny will punish himself by sitting and waiting in a cave somewhere in mexico for a year while it all blows over?

The long arm of the law never forgets, computers never never forget. Massive reels of magnetic tape never never never forget.

Mexico will take massive adjusting to. A fulls day of hard work pays just enough for a kilo of beans. The temptation to commit crime for a decent wage will be tempting. I hope he ditched the gun small calibur or not the police in mexico do not take gun possesion lightly, accidently carrying 1 round into Mexico can get you 5 years. If you conceal a weapon and get caught well say good night the army might lock you up and throw away the key. (not before tying you upside down to a board and shooting seltzer water up your nose) Except for the Drug Cartels Mexico does not have a gun problem, and there is a reason for it.

The internet is everywhere and internet cafes are springing up in the smallest of mexican towns. Someone somewhere will see Danny's picture and print the PDF report. Always looking over your shoulder makes you old before your time.

Thats why the best solution is to get representation and turn yourself in. What will he do in Mexico? Live off $35 a month that his family sends him? There are things that chew away at a man worse than dying. That might be one.

In any case I wish every one involved strength to get past this and peace of mind.

Posted by Mr G
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 25, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Yeah Ok I get it. Mr G is a basket ball coach, I wish I love basket ball! Don't watch it because for every 20 mins of game time I have to tolerate 25 mins of commercials, chevy tahoes, cell phones, 'get your digital converter box' commercials they drive me up the wall!

I have to focus on getting another job, my hours have been cut and the pay sucks. Confidant I am that there is something better for me out there.

Never laugh at peoples dreams, if you got no dream you got nothing!

Posted by rr
a resident of Southgate
on Mar 26, 2009 at 8:31 am

Hey, PAPD. ALL of those last 4 posts are CODE.

Posted by ?????
a resident of another community
on Mar 26, 2009 at 12:42 pm

People please stop scrutinizing the whole situation beyond your understanding!!
You will never understand and don't desire this for anyone!! And point be made the family did everything they could have possibly done to get him on the right path!!!!!
They loved and cared for him!!
If you don't know the family then I suggest that you stop writing all your misleading information!
The family wants to see him safe and pray everyday that he turns himself in. DO you think that the family sleeps at night worried about where he is/if he is okay???
No-they are worried sick!!!!!!!!!!
Danny please it's never too can still turn your life around!!You know this and you know there is a better life for you!!!

We love you and need the peace of mind that you are okay????
I will be there right next to you, every step of the way to help you! Please don't neglect my help and concern like always...You are one of the most precious people in my life and love you like you can't imagine. I saw you grow up and know that deep down inside you are a spectacular, charismatic and good hearted person!

Posted by jack
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 26, 2009 at 2:42 pm

"So, what do you think, Oprah?"


"Jeree! Jeree! Jeree!"

Posted by Mr. G
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 26, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Sorry I did not mean to over step my bounds. I ment no disrespect to Danny's or his family. Assuming details about a situation sometimes helps drive the point home but can be very disrespectful.

Now we wait and pray.

Posted by me
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 27, 2009 at 8:53 pm

I am so sad....................................

Posted by me
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 27, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Just pray for him and his family. Pray for everybody.

Posted by warriors
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2009 at 12:17 am

If there was a war and you son was drafted, would you support him if he decided to leave the country ?

Posted by Critics of PAPD give it a rest
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm

For all of those who criticize PAPD for not catching the shooters right after the crime, consider this...Their administrators are to busy appeasing the vocal minority and not enough time "getting tough on crime." Seriosuly, when have you seend a senior figure in the department take a tough stance on ...well anything? They and the City administrators worry about public perception instead of telling their troops to be tough on crime. Complain to them and the City Council and tell them their job is too be cops not politicians. I'm sure all the cops on the force woudl much rather catch criminals than attend sensitivity training.

Posted by me
a resident of Meadow Park
on Apr 3, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Why would he go to Mexico.  He was not born there.  Grow up.

Posted by arastraderoparksneighbor
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 27, 2009 at 12:35 am

This is in response to Denise
"Has his family been asked to move from Arastradero Park Apartments? I am sure his family knows where he is and how to get in touch with him. Arastradero Park Apartments are predominantly family units and I don't think it is safe to have the family of a violent fugative in this complex. His family can be the greatest family but a parent with protect their child."

Are you serious? His family had nothing to do with this, they are so worried for their troubled Danny. They are protecting their child by asking him to turn himself in! They are worried of him out there in the dangerous world of crooks and gangs. This family works harder, (and earns it too) than MOST OF PALO ALTO! They want the best for him, and that means he has to take responsibility. Danny has been running away for too long, his family loves him, he will see it one day. In the mean time, I hope no more violence comes of this ordeal. God bless them all.

Posted by good friend
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 3, 2009 at 4:33 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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