News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Police Seek Suspect in Safeway Parking Lot Shooting
Contact : Zach Perron, Captain, Police Department    650-329-2413
Safeway shooting suspectVictim vehicle

Palo Alto, CA – Police are asking for the public’s assistance in getting information about a shooting that occurred last night in the parking lot of the Safeway store in the Midtown neighborhood of Palo Alto. Police pursued an involved vehicle as it fled the scene, but officers still do not know the identity of the victim or the suspect and are hoping a surveillance image of the suspect will yield tips from the public.

On Friday, August 3, 2018, at about 9:15 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received multiple calls of a shooting that had just occurred in the parking lot of the Safeway store at 2811 Middlefield Road. As officers responded to the scene, they observed a white Lexus SUV with paper license plates leaving the area. The vehicle appeared to have a shattered window. When police went to stop the car, it fled and officers pursued it, ultimately discontinuing the pursuit on Highway 101 as it was driving erratically. Other officers at Safeway were unable to locate a victim or others involved in the shooting.

After the preliminary investigation, officers were able to determine that the driver of the Lexus had gotten into a confrontation with the suspect in the parking lot and was actually the shooting victim. Witnesses reported that the suspect, who remains unknown at this time, confronted the victim in the parking lot as he was getting into the Lexus. The reason for the confrontation is unknown, and police do not yet know if the two men knew each other. The suspect fired multiple rounds from a semi-automatic handgun into the victim’s vehicle before the victim sped away. As the victim also remains unknown, police do not know if the gunshots struck him. No gunshot victims have turned up at area hospitals.

Video surveillance footage from Safeway shows the suspect is a muscular white male in his thirties or forties, wearing a black tank top and a black baseball cap worn backwards. The suspect appears to have thin tattoos (possibly tribal bands or barbed wire) around both of his biceps. A still image from the footage is attached to this release. Detectives are actively working to identify him.

The unknown victim is a black male in his twenties or thirties, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. Police are concerned about the victim’s welfare, and want to ensure that he has received medical treatment for any injuries he may have sustained. A still image of the victim’s vehicle is attached to this release to aid in his identification.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through our free mobile app, downloadable at or