East Bay News

Two young Castro Valley restaurant workers fight off gunman

Saturday, June 15, 2013
Attempted robbery suspect fatally shot by deputies at Boulevard Burger in Castro Valley A robbery at a restaurant in Castro Valley was interrupted when Alameda County sheriffs deputies shot the suspect Friday night.

Two young Castro Valley restaurant employees are being called both brave and foolish after they foiled a robbery by trying to wrestle a gun away from a masked robber. Their effort ended with that suspect being shot to death by an Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy.

We spoke to one of the 19-year-old employees who fought off the armed robber. He didn't want to go on camera, but did tell ABC7 News that his fist was sore from hitting the suspect as he tried to get the gun. He says he knows he's lucky to be alive.

"It's not recommended to, you know, attack a person with a firearm," Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.

And that's exactly what Sgt. Nelson says happened at the restaurant Friday night.

The Boulevard Burger on Castro Valley Boulevard was closed Saturday. A sign outside explained the tragic incident that happened inside a little after 10 p.m.

According to one of the three employees inside at the time, a masked man armed with a gun came in the back door as the restaurant was closing. The man demanded money and emptied the cash register. Then he wanted the safe opened. That's when two 19-year-old employees jumped the robber.

"The employees took it upon themselves to attack the robber and had a pretty significant struggle with him," Sgt. Nelson said.

As the two men wrestled with the robber, Sgt. Nelson says they yelled at a 16-year-old female coworker to get help. Coincidently, an Alameda County deputy was just outside the restaurant issuing a traffic ticket. He heard two gunshots and rushed inside.

"The suspect is in a struggle for his gun," Sgt. Nelson said. "And the deputy is telling him to drop the gun."

Nelson explains that all three men were locked close together in a fight for the weapon as the deputy drew his gun.

"The deputy gets in there, he positions himself very well so that he won't fire and hit any of the employees, and he fires and hits the suspect," he said.

The unidentified suspect died at the scene.

People who came by to eat found the restaurant closed with a sign outside explaining the reason and hailing the employees' bravery.

"My heart went out real fast to all the people who were working," regular customer Alex McMurray said. "And, you know, god bless 'em that they made it through the incident."

No one else was seriously injured.

The mother of the other 19-year-old told us by phone that her son is still in shock. She said his hand was slightly injured by the two gunshots the suspect fired before he was killed by the deputy.

The restaurant will be closed until Monday.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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castro valley, shooting, crime, restaurants, guns, violence, east bay news
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