East Palo Alto Officer
Slain, Manhunt Ongoing
(CBS5 / AP) EAST PALO ALTO A police officer who had taken a
14-year-old Explorer Scout on a ride-along was killed by a
gunman who remained at large late Saturday.
The officer, 39-year-old Richard May, was responding to a
disturbance at a business in the 2300 block of University Avenue
when the shooting occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. police
Murder Rate Fell In East Palo Alto In '05
"There's a lot of disbelief," said Lt. Rod Norris. "And like
with any family, and we are a family, needless to say people are
really hurt by this."
Police blocked off the neighborhood to search for the suspect,
described as a Hispanic male wearing a black jacket, black shirt
and blue jeans and armed with a semi-automatic pistol.
Police said that the suspect is known for being associated with
May was the second East Palo Alto officer was killed in the line
of duty. Rookie officer Joel Michael Davis was killed in 1988.
An East Palo Alto park was named in Davis' honor.
The Explorer Scout riding in the squad car was not harmed,
Norris said. It was the Explorer Scout who made the radio call
that the officer was down, according to police reports.
The shooting took place in a strip mall just a few blocks from
the police department.
"The officer was in his car, he followed (the suspect)
approximately half a block and that's where the confrontation
occurred," Norris said.
Residents said they noticed heightened police activity in the
area shortly before the shooting. Details of the disturbance
call were not immediately clear.
Maribel Posada, who was kept from her home as officers combed
the apartment complex searching for the suspect, said she
worried about her daughter, who was inside.
"I'm very scared for my daughter," she said. "My daughter is
scared. They won't let me in."
In the midst of their search, the department's 48 officers were
mourning the loss of one of their own.
May, who'd been with the department for 18 months, leaves behind
a wife and three children, ages 17, 14 and 9. May worked
previously in Lompoc.
Officers from the California Highway Patrol, the Redwood City
Police Department, the San Carlos Police Department, the
Mountain View Police Department and the San Mateo County Sheriff
assisted in the manhunt, which included helicopters and police
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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