According to San Leandro Police, at around 11:40 p.m., at the Walmart at 1919 Davis Street, store security agents monitoring surveillance cameras witnessed two men concealing merchandise in their pockets. Police later identified the suspects as 39-year-old Oscar Cruz and 18-year-old Edward Lovato, both San Leandro residents.
A police press release states that the store security agents watched Cruz and Lovato leave the store without paying for the merchandise, at which point they followed the suspects outside and confronted them. The agents asked the suspects to return to the store. However, after re-entering the store, Cruz attempted to flee. The security agents grabbed both men, leading to a violent struggle inside the store. It was at this point that Cruz is alleged to have removed a handgun from his waistband, which he then fired multiple times at the agent who tried to detain him. No one inside the store was hit by gunfire, and the agent struggling with Cruz managed to get hold of the weapon.
A police officer responding to the scene heard gunshots coming from inside the store as he pulled into the store parking lot. On entering the store, he found the security agents fighting with the two suspects. Several more officers arrived and were able to help safely detain and arrest the two suspects.
A search of the suspects’ car revealed a loaded, high-caliber handgun. An investigation by detectives revealed that Cruz was on probation for a domestic violence conviction and had a history of felony convictions for various crimes. Lovato also had a criminal record, and as recently as October 2 was arrested for auto theft and possession of stolen property. He was released the next day with a future court date.
On Tuesday, the Alameda County District Attorney’s office brought charges against Cruz and Lovato. Cruz has been charged with attempted murder, robbery using a firearm and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Lovato was charged with robbery using a firearm. Both men were arraigned in Alameda Superior Court Tuesday afternoon, and both are currently being held at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. Cruz is being held without bail. Lovato’s bail is set at $200,000.
Initial reports to police suggested there may have been a third suspect who fled back into the store. Officers set up a search of the store but did not find anyone. At a press conference about the incident Monday morning, San Leandro Police mentioned a third suspect still at large. However, later that morning, Lt. Robert McManus notified the press that “[d]etectives have determined that there is not a third, outstanding suspect, as previously reported during this morning’s press conference. This is an isolated incident.”
“This was a very violent confrontation that could have quickly turned deadly,” McManus stated. ”The officer who entered the store alone, after hearing gunshots inside, did exactly what he was trained to do – protect others. Without his quick actions, others inside could have been seriously injured.”