Gunman Escapes After Killing 3, Wounding 7 In Cupertino Quarry Rampage

CUPERTINO (CBS SF) — A disgruntled employee opened fire at a meeting at a Cupertino limestone quarry on Wednesday, killing three people and injuring seven others including a woman carjacked a few miles away, authorities said.

The gunman – identified as 47-year-old Shareef Allman, a San Jose resident who worked as a haul truck driver at the quarry – was still being sought Wednesday night. However, law enforcement said they had ended a massive daylong search of an area along the Cupertino-Sunnyvale border for Allman.

The shootings at the Lehigh Southwest Cement Permanente Plant at 24001 Stevens Creek Blvd. in Cupertino occurred around 4:15 a.m. during a meeting at the facility to discuss safety issues.

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said that two men were pronounced dead at the scene and a third man died later at a local hospital.

She identified the men killed as 48-year-old Manuel Pinon of Newman (Stanislaus County,) 51-year-old John Vallejos of San Jose and 59-year-old Mark Munoz of San Jose. Smith said some of the seven other people wounded were hospitalized in critical condition.

PICTURES: Cupertino Quarry Rampage

At a news conference, the sheriff said that Allman was disgruntled at his employer, but she did not know exactly what the issue was. She indicated that a total of 15 employees were in the meeting when the gunfire erupted, nine of whom were struck by bullets.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan, Matt Bigler, and Margie Shafer Report:

Allman fled the work site after the shootings and shortly before 7 a.m., he allegedly attempted to take a woman’s car at gunpoint in a Hewlett-Packard company parking lot near the intersection of Homestead Road and Tantau Avenue in Cupertino. When the HP worker refused, he shot her once but the injuries were not life-threatening, according to the sheriff.

A Mercury sedan associated with Allman was later found at an Arco gas station at the intersection of Wolfe and Homestead roads. Authorities said they had recovered a shotgun, a handgun and two assault rifles from Allman’s vehicle.

Surveillance video from the gas station showed that Allman – described as a black man about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 215 pounds – was armed with a rifle and handgun when he fled there, Smith said.

Sheriff’s deputies, believing he was still in the area, then went door to door with guns drawn searching for Allman. Police from Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and Gilroy assisted the sheriff’s office in the search.

At one point, police believed they had Allman cornered at a house about 300 yards north of Homestead on Quail St. across the street from Hewlett Packard’s offices. That turned out not to be the case and SWAT teams then conducted more house-to-house searches in the area.

Authorities finally reopened Homestead Road and allowed neighborhood residents to return to their homes late Wednesday after calling off their search for the night, but they urged anyone with information about Allman’s whereabouts to call a tip line at (408) 808-4500.

“We’re asking the public to be safe and give us any information that they have,” Smith said.

Cupertino gunman suspect, workplace shooting

Shareef Allman (Cupertino PD)

Along with working at the cement plant, Allman also was a contributing producer at the San Jose public access TV channel CreaTV and an author who wrote a book, “Amazing Grace,” that addressed domestic violence issues.

Ironically, Allman had a misdemeanor conviction for disturbing the peace – plea bargained down from domestic violence – for an incident that occurred in San Mateo on Aug. 9, 1992, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. Allman served two days in jail and underwent 48 hours of domestic violence training after that conviction.

A video posted on YouTube showed Allman interviewing the Rev. Jesse Jackson outside a memorial for the late musician Walter Hawkins for a piece for CreaTV. In the video, Allman talked with Jackson about the positive and transformative messages of gospel music.

“I hope what he gave all of us we take out to our community and use it to better ourselves and our community,” Allman said about Hawkins during the interview.

Allman was not a paid employee, according to CreaTV Executive Director Suzanne St. John-Crane, just one of a number of producers that submitted content for the channel.

“We’re shocked and devastated and feel for the families of the victims,” said St. John-Crane, who called Allman a calm, gentle person. “This is not the Shareef we knew, at all.”

(L-R) Shareef Allman, CreaTV Exec. Director Suzanne St. John-Crane (CreaTV)

(L-R) Shareef Allman, Suzanne St. John-Crane (CreaTV)

The shootings also rattled Allman’s neighbors in the Renaissance Drive appartment complex in San Jose where he lives, said resident Paulette Conner.

“He’s always had a smile on his face,” said Conner, 57, who has known Allman for five years. “I’ve never known him to have any violent tendencies. Never. Ever.”

Conner said Allman occasionally griped to her and others over the years about his job, including his various shift changes and some co-workers, but she never imagined that he could do something violent. She said Allman is a local fixture who has been heavily involved in San Jose’s black community.

“He is very kind, sociable person and a really good father,” Conner said. “I’ve never known him to be a mean person.”

The president of the San Jose/Silicon Valley chapter of the NAACP said Allman “was a nice man, a brilliant man, a proud man, a man who spoke of black pride.”

Pastor Jethroe Moore II added that Allman was an evangelist, who was known throughout churches in the Bay Area, and was doing everything he could to change the perception of a positive role model in the black community, and encouraging an emphasis on family and strong father figures.

Business records obtained by the Associated Press showed that in 2004, Allman started a youth development organization called Helping Hands Changing Hearts, which listed its location as Allman’s home address. However, the IRS automatically revoked the organization’s exempt status as a nonprofit for failure to file proper tax forms for three consecutive years, records showed.

“There is no logical way to explain what has happened today from what we know of him. Our community is devastated and hurt,” Moore said of Allman, who he has known for 15 years.

Co-workers and acquaintances of Allman also said that he appeared to be happy up until he opened fire at the plant meeting.

“He was probably the last one I’d ever think would do this,” said a truck driver from the nearby Steven’s Creek Quarry who had met Allman, but did not want to be identified by name.

Mike Weltz, a representative for Operating Engineers Local 3, which represents about 30 Lehigh employees, nine of whom were at the meeting, said that he was stunned by the incident.

“He seemed really nice,” Weltz said. “He had a smile on his face.”

According to Weltz, Allman has been working at the quarry for at least 15 years and had just returned from a four-week vacation.

The once-weekly meeting where the shootings took place was held to discuss safety procedures such as proper climbing techniques and transportation of materials, according to Weltz.

Irving, Texas-based Lehigh Hanson CEO Dan Harrington said in a statement, “We are shocked and saddened by this morning’s events.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Harrington said. “I have committed the company’s resources to assist our affected employees during this difficult time.”

The quarry was issued its first permit in May 1939, according to Santa Clara County documents.

The Associated Press reported that the site has been subject to a number of environmental violations over the years, and has been subject to noise and other complaints from residents who live nearby.

Lehigh makes about 1.2 million tons of cement per year, and its products are involved in a number of major construction projects including the seismic upgrades to the Golden Gate Bridge, according to the AP.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Lilly

    Has there been any latest news on what has happened to the person who shot all those people. I go to De Anza and want to know if the area is safe to go in that area.

  • Billy Williams

    I work for the company (HeidelbergCementGroup) that owns that plant. Do we know the names of the people that were shot? I don’t want to email someone that got shot and killed!

    • CBS5

      Billy, the names of the shooting victims have not been released as of 9;30am.

  • Beverly Hills

    My heart goes out to all involved. What a tragic day.

    • la

      I would like to know why? Was it money, love or business dispute? Take this as an example of how not to live.

  • Captain America

    Maybe the Blue Angels can help?

  • Darby

    Jackson interview pulled? Hmm.

    • Massimo Deportado

      Smells pretty bad to me too……

  • Carlos

    Is it appropriate that the ad running before one of your videos on this story has a dad and his son running around shooting each other with giant water guns?

    • Jimbo Limbo

      Giant water guns are harmless fun. If you honestly connect water guns to a man who kills his co-workers with a rifle, you need to consider your logic skills. If the killer wore work pants, would it be offensive to advertise work pants? He is a male, are all men off limits, too? Draw a line somewhere that makes sense. Advertising a rifle would be bad taste, but a water gun fight is clean, safe, American fun. No one (except perhaps you) would confuse something that squirts water with something that fires bullets.

    • John Moser

      The advertisement, before the story of the mass shooting, is what’s really important.

  • Donald Sandri

    This boggles the mind. I don’t know what to say other than what happened?

  • Baja Netscape

    Any release of the names yet?

    • CBS 5

      Names of the victims have not been released as of 12:45pm.

  • GD

    Looks like Clarence Clemmens.

  • Diego Roswell

    If ANY of the victims had concealed carry permits (virtually impossible to get in most counties in California) Shareef would be dead instead of the innocents. Keep creating victims in California by denying the citizens their constitutional right to self defense. Ignorant liberal democrats created the most dangerous place on earth.

    • RFP

      I agree Diego……and that’s why I am armed to the teeth!

    • Bill

      To sum up news reports this mornning “Hide! Hide! Stay in your house!” not “Arm your self! Get ready to protect your family!”

    • Klaus

      Only a fool relies on the government for self-defense. The government doesn’t care about its citizens, and it’s incompetent to help them. If the government takes guns out of the hands of its citizens, then the government should be held liable for all damages that result when it fails to protect those citizens. Checks and balances is what makes our Constitution great.

      • johnny bravo

        Yeah that worked out great for the cops in Washington state who were all shot sitting at a coffee shop in uniform and fully strapped? But that was them. I’m sure if you’d been there you’da been the big hero with your big gun and shot those bad guys, wouldn’t ya, slugger?

      • Jeanne Chapman

        Our government (certain parts of it) stand on their soap box and preach about gun control and then threaten to take matters into their own hands to violate our Constitution then, allow guns to walk to Mexico to just see what will happen when the cartel gets their hands on them. As if this isn’t bad enough, they then LIE about the fact that they did this. Those of us who bear arms legally are not the ones out there shooting innocent people and those who want to do harm to others with a gun, will only have to grab one when our idiotic current regime puts them in the hands of thugs!

  • mwgma

    All of you who are making idiotic comments, two of the people killed were my cousins…show a little respect, please.

    • Peace and Respect

      She never said anything about her political agenda. All she’s asking is for is respect out of the dead, which would the civil thing to do.

  • SCValley59

    uh, many black Muslims take names of that faith, and some are female. Been doing it since the 1960’s, and yes, he would be more sandwich condiment than fugitive, were he in Arizona.

  • Ken

    I hope they catch him before my Son get’s out of school at Columbia as many kids are out at 3:05 and could be dangerous…

  • Baja Netscape

    got the info from nbc 11 news that interviewed several of his friends at the quarry.

  • Baja Netscape

    He actually goes by Frank at the quarry, ignorancy is bliss!

  • hackney

    Howdy ho, Hackney here. Nothing going on with race here. All about getting a bad case of gas, getting annoyed and shooting people up, that’s all. Hey, the dude had gas in that last photo, it’s written all over his face. My theory yo.

  • Klaus

    The man’s race is irrelevant. Gun grabbers love to play the race card to take away our guns, like Reagan did as governor when the Black Panthers exercised their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Odds are this guy was on prescription drugs and has a military background. MK-ULTRA is always suspect #1 in these type of shootings.

    • Sam Mallory

      ya tell that to the killer…he still thinks he was a black manned wronged ever since his horrible upbringing in EPA….

  • Sunnyvale Resident

    Have the police caudht him yet? Where the police think he may be now?

  • Andy Chan

    As of 2:15pm, all Santa Clara Unified Schools (including Wilcox High, my school) are on lockdown. Those that live near the shooting site/Peterson Middle School are advised to remain at school, for those parents reading this. :)

  • Hugh Betcha

    Like the good ” tolerant open-minded lovers of free speech” liberals they are, CBS censors all comments suggesting that this incident was YET ANOTHER black-on-white racial hate crime or YET ANOTHER Muslim vs Christian hate crime. …. even though chances are good that it was one or both.

  • Fathima

    Its the death penalty or more grief! The death penalty IS a strong deterrent to murder.

    • johnny bravo

      Yeah that’s why we have so few murders in the USA.

  • Jeff

    It’s California, he’ll probably get a good stern talking to. I’m more shocked that there is a business still operating in California ! I though Governor moonbeam outlawed all productivity. Aren’t you guys all working for the gubmint now?

  • John C

    “Smith said at a noontime news conference that Allman was disgruntled at his employer…”

    No, he was disgruntled with his life. If it was only about his employer, he would have attacked his boss only rather than innocent people.

  • mephistofan

    Beware: This board is “pc monitored. Earlier today I posted a comment making a reference to the shooter’s arabic first name, the religion of peace and Obama’s entitled voters. I also speculated that the shooter’s was driven over the edge by the relentless racism of the tea party.
    When I checked again, CBS had cleansed my comment right off the board. If CBS’ policy is to only allow posters with liberal muddled opinions and thought processes
    on this board, then this policy should be disclosed up front to readers and potential posters. CBS’ undisclosed censorship of opinions of which it does not approve is a prime example of the llooney left l msm bias and hypocrisy that has caused Americans to distrust big, monopolistic media. Intelligent folks are not buying your dreck anymore and your monopoly on news and public opinion is over.

  • Craig

    This is what happens when you have a disarmed citizenry. States that allow their citizens to carry a weapon have much lower crime rates. Both Australia and Canada had very strict gun laws, Australia realized the error and is in the process of backing off on the restrictions and Canada is strongly considering backing off on their unreasonable gun laws!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Guide To The Holidays
Shine A Light On The Holiday Season With ‘Giving Tuesday’

Listen Live