Bay Area

Homicide Count Reaches 42 After Latest San Jose Slaying

Leslie Griffy/NeighborWebSJ

A look at homicides in San Jose in 2012, according to San Jose police press releases.

View a map of San Jose Homicides in 2012

The San Jose police union and city officials joined forces to offer a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of an accomplice in a Friday, November 16, crime spree that injured two police officers and killed a 22-year-old San Jose man.

Officers said the pair committed four armed robberies, one homicide and were involved in a shootout that injured two officers.

The homicide, which police believe was part of a carjacking connected to the crime spree, marks San Jose 42nd homicide of the year. That is a 15-year high in the number of homicides in the city and one homicide away from a 20-year record set in 1997.

Crime in the city has been hot topic since eight slaying happened in 11 days in August.In response, the San Jose Police Department revived its gang unit. And police and city office held dueling public safety meetings as the result of relationship that soured over pensions and other proposed contract changes.

But both sides put those differences aside on Monday, November 19, to call for the public’s help in finding a second suspect in the Friday evening crime spree, which police believe started at 7:25 p.m. at a Little Caesar’s Pizza on Story Road when officers allege that 26-year-old Jonathan Wilbanks and an accomplice robbed the restaurant.

The pair allegedly moved on to rob a gas station on East Capitol at 7:40 p.m., a Jack In the Box on Curtner at 8:43 p.m. and a spa on Bird at 8:58 p.m. At 9 p.m. they allegedly attempted to carjack Rory Parkpettiford in the parking lot of a 7-11 on S. Kiely Boulevard. Parkpettiford, 22, was shot and killed during the carjacking.

An officer then spotted the car on Highway 280 near Highway 101 shortly after 9 p.m. He followed it off the highway and called for backup, police said. But the suspects stopped and opened fire at an intersection where another patrol car was already stopped. Two officers were hit. A third at the intersection struck one of the suspects, who fled in the car.

One of the suspects got out of the car. Officers continued to follow the car until the drive crashed into a home. Then officers arrested Wilbanks, who they said was driving the vehicle.

They continue to search for the second person. He is described as a Hispanic or African-American man in his early 20s between 5’10 and 6-feet tall, weighing about 180 to 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray hoodie and white shoes.

The injured officers were treated at a local hospital and released.

Although gang violence was blamed on the August homicide streak, it has not been the driving factor in this year’s homicide rate. Thirteen of the 42 slayings are gang-related, police say. NeighborWebSJ’s map locates the site of each homicide and provides details of the cases. Those highlighted with a red balloon are believed to be related to gangs.

Anyone with information about Friday’s crime spree should call (408) 947-STOP (7867). Anyone who sees the suspect should call 9-1-1.

Source: NeighborWebSJ []

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