East Palo Alto police have arrested two people on outstanding warrants in connection to a May 17 shootout and are seeking the community's help to locate the person who shot and killed one of the victims, Ralph Fields Jr.
Mothers Against Murder, a nonprofit organization aiding families of homicide victims, is also offering a $10,000 reward, interim police Chief Jeff Liu said in a statement on Tuesday.
East Palo Alto Police Department worked with the U.S. Marshal Service and the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office to make the arrests of the two individuals, who have been booked into the San Mateo County Jail on their outstanding warrants. The two people will remain in jail while investigators continue building the cases against them for their alleged involvement in the shooting, which endangered families and children playing in Jack Farrell Park, Liu said.
Three people were shot and injured and a fourth person, Fields, 34, of East Palo Alto, was killed during the shooting between two pairs of people at the park. An estimated 60 people were at the park when the gunfire broke out. According to recordings from ShotSpotter, which has technology designed to detect gunshots and where they originate, there were three volleys of gunfire totaling 33 shots fired between the two pairs of people, he noted.
Neither person is considered the alleged shooter in Fields' homicide at this time, according to Liu's statement. Police haven't released the names and photos of the two men because the investigation is continuing, he said.
"We are still actively seeking witnesses to the homicide and strongly encourage witnesses to come forward with information. Mothers Against Murder has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the murder suspect," he said.
The reward is good through Nov. 19.
"Our hearts go out to all of those impacted and traumatized by this incident," Liu said, reiterating his statements to residents at a special City Council meeting on May 19 to address the community's trauma. "We want to emphasize that this was not a random attack of any kind."
Liu asked for residents to come forward.
"Shooting and violence, especially in parks with kids playing, is completely unacceptable. We need to come together as a community and send a message that this type of activity will not be tolerated. Children and families playing in the parks must feel and be safe. Parks are designed for families and healthy outdoor activities.
"We have already stepped up our presence in the area with extra patrols with the assistance of our neighbors at the Menlo Park Police Department. Despite the large number of people present for this violent and tragic incident, we do not have many witnesses. I am making a plea to our East Palo Alto community to share any information and videos they have. It is imperative that we find the suspects responsible for this incident and hold them accountable within the law," he said.
Liu also addressed community concerns that officers who arrived on scene didn't perform CPR. Officers found Fields was suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest and was breathing when they arrived. The first officer who attended to Fields applied direct pressure to his wound. CPR at that point was not the appropriate treatment if someone is breathing and has a heartbeat, Liu said. Fields succumbed to his injuries in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Anyone with information about the crime of a suspect is asked to contact Detective Moore at 650-237-9134. Anonymous tips can be made by text or voicemail to 650-409-6792 or email to [email protected]