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Suspected Gunman Remains Hospitalized After Shootout on Sunday With San José Police

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A police officer stands in front of a podium.
San José acting Police Chief Paul Joseph speaks during a May 20, 2024, press conference about a police shooting in the city's East Side.  (Joseph Geha/KQED)

Updated 5:30 p.m. Monday

San José police are revealing more details about a gun battle that erupted between three officers and a man on Sunday afternoon in the city’s East Side.

The officers fired their guns at 41-year-old Ricardo Villareal in an apartment complex parking lot after he shot at two officers and pointed his gun at a third, according to police.

Villareal is currently hospitalized and being treated for multiple gunshot wounds, police said.

No officers were injured in the encounter.


“Our officers responded selflessly, placing themselves between vulnerable people and a violent individual,” Paul Joseph, San José’s acting police chief, said Monday during a press conference.

Around 4:11 p.m. on Sunday, police responded to an anonymous report describing “someone shooting bullets from a van” in an apartment complex lot in the 2700 block of Kollmar Drive. It wasn’t immediately clear why Villareal was in the complex or why he was shooting a gun.

Two officers arrived at the scene and, after locating Villareal, radioed that he was shooting at them, Joseph said. Both officers returned fire, but it’s unclear if they struck Villareal at that point.

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Villareal then reloaded his gun and ran north through the apartment complex lot, where he encountered additional officers.

“The suspect then pointed his firearm at one of the responding officers while aggressively advancing towards him. This prompted a separate officer to discharge his firearm, striking the suspect,” Joseph said.

Villareal was arrested at 4:21 p.m., Joseph said, noting that Villareal has an “extensive criminal history” and is on active probation, and is prohibited from owning a gun.

One of his prior convictions was for assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer while also being in possession of a shotgun and a stolen vehicle, Joseph said.

Police officials did not name the three officers who shot their weapons. All three have been placed on paid administrative leave while the case is being investigated by the department and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

San José Mayor Matt Mahan lauded the officers for their work.

“Our residents called for help, and our officers responded quickly and bravely to ensure everyone was kept safe. I’m deeply grateful for their courage,” Mahan said at Monday’s briefing. “They’re part of an exceptional police department full of selfless people who sacrifice their own safety in pursuit of a safer city for everyone.”

This is the third police shooting in San José this year. Earlier this month, two officers were wounded in a shootout with a man at a South San José hotel while responding to a domestic violence call. The man was also wounded and arrested.

One of the officers in that incident is still hospitalized, police said.

This story includes reporting from KQED’s Katie DeBenedetti.

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