On Tuesday, December 30, the Marin County Sheriff’s office received several calls to report a shooting at 8:30 in the morning. The reports were from an apartment building on Cole Drive, a street that circles around off of Drake Avenue, on the Hillside overlooking Richardson Bay in Marin City, where the 101 Freeway winds its way along just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
According to Sergeant Mark Hale of the sheriff’s office, deputies and detectives responded to the scene, and located the apartment that had been hit with multiple gun shots. There were also shell casings on the ground nearby. They contacted the resident of the unit who seemed to be the target of the shooting, who was home with a small child. Neither were struck by any of the shots.
Through interviews and investigation, they identified a suspect in the shooting, 18-year-old Tyrrell Bland, a current resident of Vallejo. He was located and arrested as a suspect and charged with shooting at an inhabited dwelling, threats of violence, and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person. He was also charged with burglary and possession of stolen property for an earlier residential burglary investigated by the Central Marin Police, and for committing a felony while out on bail.
Bland had been arrested in November on charges of burglary, possession of burglar’s tools and stolen property, and resisting arrest. On Wednesday, November 5, police received a report of a suspicious person asking for directions at a home on Butte Street in Sausalito, just a mile from the scene of the shooting, and adjacent to Martin Luther King Jr. Park. The resident said the person had no car, and the home appeared to be vacant, so it was suspected that the person was casing the place to burglarize. Responding officers spotted Bland in the area, and he ran off, prompting a door to door search in the area. He was found hiding in a condo he had apparently broken into, and a bag of stolen electronics was found from another burglary. At the time of the arrest, Bland reported that he was living on Butte Street himself.
The arrest of Tyrrell Bland for the shooting was not the end of the investigation, however. On Monday of the week, December 5, detectives served search warrants at an apartment on Drake Avenue, at or near where the shooting occurred, and at a house on Olive Avenue in Novato, where 50-year-old Terrell Bland, Sr. lives. As a result, the senior Bland was arrested on charges of being a felon in possession of a handgun and ammunition, possession of narcotics, and concealing or destroying evidence. He was also charged with being an accessory to the younger Bland’s crime. Bland Sr. is a registered sex offender, according to the Megan’s Law database.
It may be noted that there is a third Bland, 27-year-old Terrell Bland Jr., who was arrested in April of 2014 after a runaway girl contacted sheriff’s deputies at a motel in San Rafael. The 16-year-old told authorities that she had been prostituting under Bland’s control for over a year.
Detectives served search warrants at two locations – an apartment on Cole Street near the previous shooting, and at Bland Jr.’s residence on Buckelew Street, which is just about a mile away down Drake Street. Terrell Bland Jr. was arrested for a list of charges including human trafficking of a minor, unlawful intercourse with a minor, pimping, grand theft, robbery, commission of a felony while armed and released from custody, and revocation of probation. He had also been arrested in February for robbery during a marijuana sale, and in January on charges of street terrorism and robbery.
It is not clear at this time what, if any connection there is from the earlier incidents of Terrell Bland Jr. and his father and brother, since all the incidents occurred in the same Marin and Sausalito neighborhood Revenge for the brother’s arrest has been speculated. The Sheriff’s Department continues the investigation, and welcomes any tips at their office at 415-473-7233. Anonymous tips, also eligible for a cash reward, may be given to Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.