Police and sheriff’s deputies are investigating a shooting that killed a teenage boy in Watsonville Wednesday, a Watsonville police spokesman said.

Around 6:20 p.m. Wednesday evening, the teenage boy was confronted in the area of Ross Avenue and Airport Boulevard and was shot multiple times, according to Watsonville police spokesman Lt. Saul Gonzalez.

The victim, whose name and age are not being released until his family has been notified, was found after Watsonville firefighters heard gunshots near the firehouse on Airport Boulevard and went outside to investigate, Gonzalez said.

Firefighters found the teenage boy on Airport Boulevard attempting to stop traffic for assistance. The fire department immediately started life-saving procedures and notified the police.

The victim was flown to a bay area hospital and was pronounced dead before arrival, according to Gonzalez.

After preliminary investigations, officers determined that they are searching for a black, older two-door Honda Civic with a heavy set, dark-skinned male passenger, Gonzalez said.

Police are also working closely with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department, who investigated a shooting that resulted in no injuries near Bowker Road an hour prior to the incident.

It remains unclear whether or not the two shootings are related, Gonzalez said.

The shooting appears to be gang motivated, but the motive behind the shooting remains unknown, according to Gonzalez.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to call Watsonville police at (831) 768-3350. Tips may be left anonymously at (831) 728-3544.


South San Francisco police said today that they have identified a suspect in a child annoyance incident that occurred at a Costco earlier this month and have forwarded the information to prosecutors for review.

The incident occurred on Nov. 8 around 2:20 p.m. at the Costco at 1600 El Camino Real.

Police said an unidentified man approached a 2-year-old girl in a shopping aisle, patted her head and said, “Come over here” while making a circular motion with his right hand.

The girl’s mother was within 15 feet of the girl when this occurred.

Police said the man immediately walked away from the girl when he noticed her mother nearby, and he left the store without purchasing anything.

After the incident police posted a photo of the suspect on the department’s web page and sent out requests for help to the community through Twitter.

On Nov. 19, they received an anonymous tip about the suspect’s identity and contacted a 44-year-old South San Francisco man. The man gave police a detailed voluntary statement about the incident, which has been forwarded to prosecutors for review.


A 5-year-old Pacifica girl who was found dead Saturday and feared to have drowned in her bathtub appears to have died of natural causes instead, police said today.

Personnel from the Pacifica Police Department, North County Fire Authority, and American Medical Response ambulance service responded to a report of a possible drowning in the 200 block of Lauren Avenue in Pacifica at 11:45 a.m., police said.

Upon arrival, emergency personnel found a 5-year-old girl unresponsive and not breathing, police said.

A passerby and emergency personnel performed lifesaving measures at the scene. Police said the girl was transported to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police said witnesses indicated the child had been in the bathtub and at some point was located by a family member submerged in the water and unresponsive.

However, an investigation by the San Mateo County coroner’s office and Pacifica police has now indicated the girl died of natural causes and not drowning, police said.


An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 3.1 struck near Yountville this afternoon, one of three temblors reported in the area today, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

An earthquake reported at 12:36 p.m. was 4 miles south-southwest of Yountville, USGS officials said.

It had a depth of about 5.2 miles, according to the USGS.

Six minutes later, another earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 2.1 was reported 3 miles south of Yountville and 5 miles northwest of Napa with a depth of 1.4 miles, USGS officials said.

The first earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 2.5 shook at 10:27 a.m. about 2 miles south of Yountville and 6 miles northwest of Napa, USGS officials said.

The morning earthquake had a depth of 3.4 miles, according to the USGS.

A dispatcher from the Napa County Sheriff’s Office reported feeling a quake this afternoon.

The dispatcher said the office received less than 10 reports from people who reportedly felt a temblor since about 10:30 a.m., however no injuries or damage was reported.



San Francisco Zoo officials today said they would make changes to prevent further accidents like one that killed a young gorilla earlier this month following the release of an investigators report.

The youngest member of the Jones Family Gorilla Preserve, a gorilla named Kabibe, died Nov. 7 while a staff member was carrying out its nightly post-closing routine of moving the animals into their night quarters.

Kabibe darted unexpectedly under a closing hydraulic door and died from her injuries, according to zoo officials.

Her death raised questions from the media and the public about the zoo’s staffing policies and relocation procedures. Zoo administrators hired Dr. Terry Maple, a Florida-based animal psychobiologic, to investigate, officials said.

Maple began his work from Florida on Nov. 10, according to a five-page report released Tuesday that he authored, and he arrived at the zoo on Nov. 16.

He was in San Francisco for five days, according to a zoo spokesman, but never once had the opportunity to speak with the on-duty keeper of the gorilla preserve.

According to his report, she was the only one working at the time of the accident.

“There were no other witnesses to the accident,” Maple said, based on a statement sent by the employee. “An interview with the keeper on duty could not be arranged during the time I was in San Francisco.”

Maple did manage to arrange interviews with “five of the six” fulltime keepers who work with gorillas at the zoo.

In response to the report’s recommendations zoo officials said they would continue the use of a “buddy system” for keepers implemented on Nov. 8, retrofit the existing 34-year-old doors with new technology, provide headsets for gorilla preserve operators, improve training, and form an expert training advisory committee.

Zoo officials also said they would install a backup generator at the gorilla facility in case of unexpected power loss, enhance maintenance inspections, and share Kabibe’s story and the resulting facility and protocol improvements with other zoos.

Zoo spokesman Danny Latham said neither Maple nor zoo officials would answer any questions about the incident or the keeper’s lack of availability while the investigator was in town.

Maple said, “For one year zoo keepers have worked in pairs,” but did not explain why the keeper was not with a buddy when she was moving the gorillas into their nighttime habitats.

Zoo officials said in a statement the “buddy system” was implemented on Nov. 8, but declined to explain the discrepancy between the report and their own press release.

Officials have said that the policy is in place now, and Maple’s report said, “keepers can no longer operate the electric moving doors to transfer animals when they are working alone.”

The five keepers who were interviewed all said mechanical failure was not the cause of the accident, according to Maple’s report.

“The motor-driven doors have been operated safely in the gorilla holding building since it opened in 1980,” Maple said in the report.

Zoo officials said in a press release that the doors had operated for “more than 30 years without major incident” until Kabibe died.

The report says only that the keeper operating the door immediately opened it and contacted a veterinary technician.

Maple consulted with zoo architect Gary Lee of CLR Design about the construction of the gorilla facility and its gates. According to the report, Lee said the position of the door control panel is fixed and confines the operator to a distant location from several of the moving doors.

“The operator’s view of the door is partially obstructed by metal poles which makes it difficult to monitor all of the gorillas simultaneously,” the report reads. Transfers are often noisy and gorillas are active and unpredictable.”

According to Maple’s report, the report was not intended to identify a cause of the accident, but rather to introduce recommendations, which zoo officials said they “wholeheartedly” embrace.

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A man has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a 53-year-old Angelo Esqueda in Rodeo earlier this month, sheriff’s officials said today.

Marcus Serhan, 41, was also charged with kidnapping for carjacking along with two additional counts of carjacking and evading police, according to a statement from the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.

The charges come a day after Serhan was arrested on suspicion of shooting and killing Esqueda, with whom he had been arguing, in front of a Rodeo home in the early hours of Nov. 12, according to sheriff’s officials.

On Tuesday, the suspect allegedly led sheriff’s office detectives and other law enforcement officers on a wild chase from Rodeo through Interstate Highway 80 to Hercules, Tara Hills, San Pablo, Pinole and back.

The alleged kidnapping and carjacking also occurred on Tuesday, but sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said further details about those crimes were not immediately available.

Serhan was arrested on a murder warrant and taken to county jail in Martinez, where his bail was set at $1 million.

Today a judge raised his bail to $6.7 million, according to sheriff’s officials.


Vallejo police have identified the victim of a homicide at a gas station Tuesday afternoon as 20-year-old Byron Jason Smith of Suisun City.

The shooting occurred around 1:11 p.m. at 501 Fairgrounds Drive, Sgt. Steven Cheatham said. Police found Smith inside the JJ Fish and Chicken restaurant, and despite life-saving efforts, he died at the scene.

Police are trying to identify several uninvolved citizens who witnessed the shootings at the gas station near the restaurant, Cheatham said.

The investigation is continuing, and anyone with information is asked to call Vallejo police at (707) 648-4321 or Det. Sean Kenny at (707) 648-4524.


Bay Area residents will be prohibited from burning firewood and other solid fuels on Thanksgiving Day during the third Winter Spare the Air alert issued by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, agency officials said today.

Both indoor and outdoor wood-burning fires are prohibited, according to the air quality management agency. Management district officials said cool, stagnant weather conditions are trapping wood smoke pollution throughout the Bay Area.

“Unfortunately, weather conditions are expected to cause air pollutions levels to climb to unhealthy levels on Thanksgiving Day,” said executive officer of the air district Jack Broadbent. “To protect our families and neighbors this Thanksgiving, it’s important that Bay Area residents refrain from wood burning.”

During the winter, wood smoke from the 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves in the Bay Area is the single largest source of air pollution and contributes to the risk of respiratory illness, agency officials said.

During the Spare the Air Alert, residents are banned from using fireplaces, woodstoves and inserts, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits, or any other wood-burning devices, according to the air management agency.

First-time violators will be given the option of taking a wood smoke awareness class in lieu of paying a penalty. A second violation will result in a $500 fine, and agency officials said subsequent violations would result in more expensive fines.

For more information, visit www.baaqmd.gov or www.sparetheair.org or call a toll-free hotline at (877) 4-NO-BURN.

Sign up for AirAlerts at www.sparetheair.org or phone alerts at (800) 430-1515.


The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office has identified the pedestrian who died after he was struck by two vehicles on U.S. Highway 101 this morning as 26-year-old Daniel Estrada Heidecker of Santa Rosa.

Heidecker was trying to cross the highway south of Yolanda Avenue from the east side around 6:18 a.m. when he was hit in the right northbound lane by a big-rig towing a flatbed trailer, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.

Heidecker was thrown 100 feet into the left lane where he was struck by a Toyota Highlander. The big-rig driver stopped and called 911, but the female driver of the Toyota pulled over several miles north at Airport Boulevard and called the CHP, Sloat said.

Heidecker was pronounced dead at the scene, and the investigation of the death will determine whether he was impaired, Sloat said.

The three left lanes of the highway were closed causing a significant backup but reopened at 7:55 a.m., Sloat said.

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Dozens of people have been detained this morning after a large sideshow broke out near the Port of Oakland, according to the CHP – Oakland.


The CHP says people are also vandalizing buildings, and throwing bottles and rocks at officers.

92 people were arrested in Oakland on Tuesday, and 43 were arrested on Monday during “protests” of the grand jury’s decision to not indict Ferguson, Missouri, Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.


Police responded to a report of a sexual assault that occurred in a University of California at Berkeley dormitory Monday afternoon.

The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Griffith Residence Hall, according to University police.

The victim, an 18-year-old student, was followed into the building by the suspect, who “tailgated” in behind her, police said.

After following the victim into a stairwell, the suspect reached under her skirt and grabbed her buttocks, according to police.

The suspect fled the building after the assault, and the victim was not physically injured during the encounter.

University police searched the area, but were unable to locate the suspect.

The suspect is described as a black male in his 20s, 6 feet tall with a thin to medium build, wearing medium length dreadlocks, a red bandana, a dark hooded sweatshirt and pants with tattered sneakers.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to call University police at (510) 642-6760.

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The City of Oakland opened healing centers Monday night to help residents respond peacefully to the grand jury’s decision in the Michael Brown case. The grand jury delivered the decision about 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

In partnership with community groups, the city opened four centers located at 2580 San Pablo Ave., 1485 Eighth St., 2300 International Blvd., and 8711 MacArthur Blvd. from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“These are hard issues,” said Karen Boyd, assistant to Oakland’s city administrator, of people’s feelings after the grand jury decision. Boyd said the centers were successful in helping about 100 people deal with grief, concerns and frustrations after the decision.

Using a center is much more constructive than breaking glass, especially for Oakland’s youth, Boyd said. Vandalism can put a youth’s future and life in jeopardy.

As many as 50 or more youth attended the four centers. At the center in East Oakland, Bishop Bob Jackson of Oakland’s Acts Full Gospel Church, said youth had an opportunity to express what they thought was wrong with the decision.

Jackson and youth also took four and a half minutes of silence to remember Brown who spent four and a half hours on the ground after the shooting. “That began a lot of healing,” Jackson said.

For the serious minded, the centers are something residents need to start working to prevent future deaths in similar circumstances, Jackson said, such as the killings of Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin.

“The healing centers were something to do,” said Gerald Agee, pastor, Friendship Christian Center, and president of the Pastors of Oakland.

Agee spent time Monday night at the center on San Pablo Avenue. He appreciates the city’s proactive approach. “I thought it was good,” he said.

A total of about 100 residents took advantage of the centers, which Oakland has opened during past civil uprisings.


Police believe a surfer who may have drowned at a Pacifica beach on Sunday evening was 52-year-old Brook Kenyon, Pacifica police said today.

Police, fire and U.S. Coast Guard personnel responded to a report from witnesses who said they saw a surfboard with no surfer wash onto the shore at Rockaway Beach at around 4:48 p.m., said Pacifica police Capt. Dan Steidle.

Steidle said witnesses reported seeing a body in the water and the first officer to respond to the scene also saw the body.

The body quickly disappeared under the surf though and Steidle said emergency crews never caught a second glimpse of it.

Steidle said they believe the surfer was a Shingle Springs man based on property and a vehicle found at “Surfer’s Lot,” located at 500 Old County Road. Police contacted Kenyon’s family, who confirmed he was supposed to be in Pacifica that day and entered his name into a national missing persons database.

The search for Kenyon’s body was called off around 10 p.m. Sunday night, said Coast Guard Lt. Jacob Aulner.

Detectives from the Pacifica police are continuing to investigate the incident.


A jury convicted 28-year-old Denis Pereria Demacedo Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court on eight charges in the deaths of a woman and her two sons in March of last year.

The jury deliberated for three days before handing down a conviction for three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and while driving under the influence of alcohol and other charges.

According to the San Mateo District Attorney’s office, Demacedo got behind the wheel of his car at about 8 p.m. March 9, 2013, after about five hours of drinking beer with friends.

Before the crash that killed the woman and her sons, Demacedo rear-ended a car stopped at a stop sign. Instead of stopping, Demacedo drove off and accelerated to 60 miles per hour along Eastmoor Drive before broadsiding the victims’ car and pushing it 150 feet.

A fourth passenger in the victim’s vehicle was severely injured and hospitalized, according to prosecutors.

Public Defender Geoff Carr said his client panicked after the rear-end collision, but he “did the right thing” after the broadside collision. Carr said Demacedo stopped and asked that police be called immediately.

“He was crying about them,” Carr said. Police told Carr Demacedo was “inconsolable” in the police car. Carr said Demacedo showed remorse from the time of accident until the end of the trial.

Prosecutors say Demacedo faces 25 years to life in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23.


Officers made arrests with the help of the public in two separate burglary cases in Oakland last week, police said.

The first arrest was made on Nov. 18 when officers responded to reports of a home burglary in the 300 block of Gramercy Place around 10:40 a.m., according to Oakland police.

Responding officers confirmed that two suspects had broken in, stolen jewelry and electronics, and fled the area through neighboring yards.

Witnesses provided a general description of the burglars, leading the officers to search the area and successfully locate the suspects, police said.

Several stolen items were found and returned to the homeowners.

Officers made a second burglary arrest last Thursday when police responded to a residential burglary in the 8000 block of Greenly Drive.

A witness contacted Oakland police and provided them with a description of people who were knocking on a neighbor’s door and apparently casing the residence.

Police arrived on scene and located three suspects who were burglarizing houses. All three were arrested without further incident.