SUNNYVALE (CBS SF) — The accused gunman in the shooting deaths of three co-workers at a Cupertino cement plant was shot and killed on Thursday by Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies, authorities said.
Deputies spotted 47-year-old Shareef Allman crouching behind parked cars in the 900 block of Lorne Way in Sunnyvale — the same neighborhood that was the scene of a heavily armed manhunt by police on Wednesday following the shooting rampage at the Lehigh Southwest Cement Permanente Plant in Cupertino that left three dead and seven others wounded.
“Three deputies doing routine patrol found the suspect” in the residential neighborhood located about 5 miles east of the plant, and opened fire after the man “displayed in a threatening manner his firearm” around 7:30 a.m., Sheriff Laurie Smith said at a news conference.
The deputies involved in the shooting death of Allman were identified as Fabian Desantiago, Christopher Hilt, and Lindsay Crist, each of whom had less than five years of experience on the force. Smith praised them as “exceptional, great deputies who did a great job at the scene.”
The Santa Clara County’s Coroner’s Office later said that fingerprints confirmed the man killed by the deputies was Allman.
Authorities have not released any details about a possible motive for the workplace slayings, except to say that Allman was a disgruntled employee.
Union officials indicated that Allman complained to them about being treated unfairly after he was recently suspended from his job following an accident in which he hit a power line while dumping a truck load at the cement plant’s quarry.
“He told me he had gotten a suspension and didn’t feel that the punishment fit the crime,” said Bill Hoyt, secretary-treasurer of Teamster’s Local 287. “But he was fine, and didn’t seem angry, we talked and joked around. There was nothing weird about him.”
A close friend, Brandon Powell of Sacramento, said Allman had joked over the weekend about taking a gun to work because people were “messing” with him. The 20-year-old Powell said Allman laughed after making the statement, so he didn’t take it seriously.
Another longtime friend, Walter Wilson, said Allman complained to him that “the company was racist,” but he never thought he would resort to violence to resolve any issues at work.
“As far as I know he was the only African-American truck driver,” said Wilson, who described Allman as generally happy and jovial.
KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:
In addition to working at the cement plant, Allman had run a nonprofit group for youths and produced and hosted a public access television show for CreaTV in San Jose. He also wrote a novel titled “Saving Grace,” about the evils of domestic violence.
But the San Jose Mercury News reported Thursday that Allman’s ex-wife, Valerie Allman, was granted a restraining order against him in 1992 after he allegedly assaulted her on several occasions around the time the couple was divorcing.
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