SAN LEANDRO (CBS SF) – A man who was fatally shot by Alameda County sheriff’s deputies after he allegedly escalated a routine shoplifting call at a thrift store near San Leandro into a life-threatening situation had 11 prior felony convictions, a sheriff’s spokesman said on Thursday.
Charles Ballard, 41, of San Leandro, also was on felony probation and had a warrant out for his arrest, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said.
Two deputies responded to the Thrift Town store at 16160 E. 14th St. in unincorporated Ashland near San Leandro at about 4:40 p.m. on Wednesday after store employees reported a minor theft, Kelly said.
The deputies made “a very low-key contact” with Ballard because it was a relatively low-priority call, according to Kelly.
Ballard was outside his BMW SUV when the deputies contacted him but then he got inside, put his car into reverse and accelerated at a high rate of speed, pinning the two deputies in an open door and dragging them at least 20 feet, Kelly said.
The two deputies, a male and a female, then fired at Ballard because he was using his SUV as a weapon and their lives were in danger, according to Kelly.
Ballard then put his SUV in forward and aimed his car toward a third deputy, Kelly said.
That deputy, a male, also fired at Ballard and the three deputies fired about a total of 24 shots, according to Kelly.
Ballard suffered gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene despite attempts to save his life, Kelly said.
According to Kelly, a woman who was a passenger in Ballard’s SUV also was hit by a bullet and was taken to a hospital to be treated for her injuries. She is expected to survive.
The female deputy who was dragged by the SUV suffered “significant injuries” to her knee and ankle and was hospitalized and might not return to active duty for a long time, Kelly said.
The male deputy who was dragged was treated for a shoulder injury at a hospital and released, according to Kelly.
The third deputy wasn’t injured, nor was a dog that was inside Ballard’s SUV.
Kelly said the crimes for which Ballard was convicted include grand theft auto, resisting arrest and evading arrest. He said investigators found methamphetamine on him after the shooting on Wednesday.
Kelly said footage from body cameras worn by the deputies will be important in investigating the shooting and described the footage as “very compelling and disturbing.”
Kelly said, “We’re grateful none of our deputies were killed.”
He said the investigation into the shooting will look at why Ballard escalated the situation, including the possibility that he had recently offended again.
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