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Shareef ALLMAN






Cupertino cement plant shooting
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Confrontation with his coworkers
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: October 5, 2012
Date of birth: 1963
Victims profile: Mark Muñoz, 59 / John Vallejos, 51 / Manuel Guadalupe Piñon, 48
Method of murder: Shooting (.223-caliber semi-automatic rifle and .40-caliber handgun)
Location: Cupertino, Santa Clara County, California, USA
Status: Committed suicide by shooting himself the same day

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On October 5, 2011, an employee walked inside the Lehigh Hanson's Permanente Cement Plant in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Cupertino, California during a safety meeting, and opened fire. This shooting left three people dead and six others injured.

Shortly thereafter, the shooter, Shareef Allman, shot a 60-year-old woman whose car he was attempting to carjack in a parking lot. It was initially thought that Allman was shot to death by Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies in Sunnyvale on October 6, but an autopsy revealed that Allman had actually committed suicide.


At 4:00 a.m., Shareef Allman attended a safety meeting inside a trailer of Lehigh Hanson's Permanente Cement Plant, and got into a confrontation with his coworkers. He exited outside the trailer to his car and armed himself, and walked back into the trailer.

Allman opened fire with a .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle and .40-caliber handgun at his co-workers, killing three and wounding six others. Allman trapped his co-workers inside the trailer by placing a piece of plywood and a rope over the door to jam shut it. At 7:00 a.m., he attempted to carjack a 60-year-old woman five miles away at a parking lot of Hewlett Packard's campus, and shot her in the leg. She was hospitalized in fair condition.

Allman fled on foot in a Sunnyvale neighborhood where he eluded police in a manhunt that lasted about one day. The shootings caused a variety of schools, such as Lawson Middle School, and Stratford Middle School to go into lock downs. Fremont High School and Lynbrook High School were put into "Code Blue." Peterson Middle School, in Sunnyvale, was put on lock down for several hours and had to hold their students after the end of school. At Peterson, students went into lock down before school began and were sent to their first period classes. Later in the day, Peterson staff had to facilitate things such as students having lunch, students going to the bathroom, and students having recess, as well as student evacuation at the end of the day. Peterson students were released while Allman was still at large in the Sunnyvale area.

On morning October 6, police confronted a man who fit the description of Allman hiding behind a car parked in front of a house in the Birdland neighborhood of Sunnyvale, bordering Cupertino. Allman was asked to put his hands in the air by officers, and raised his handgun, making a comment asking to have himself killed. Officers responded with fire. It was initially reported that Allman died from the police officers' multiple gunshots, but an autopsy showed that Allman's fatality was caused by his self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The shooter

The shooter, 47-year-old Shareef Allman, worked as a truck driver at the quarry. Allman was an employee of Lehigh Hanson's Permanente Cement Plant, the site of the quarry in the hills to the west of Cupertino. He had worked at the plant for 15 years.

Allman married singer Qwen Mejia in July 1989. She is also known as Valeri Allman. Their marriage was strained by a series of violent incidents perpetrated by Allman against his wife, according to court documents. Mejia obtained a restraining order against Allman in 1992 and divorced him. Allman fathered a daughter, Lashae Allman, who was born in 1993.

Shareef Allman resided in the Stonegate Apartments of San Jose. He grew up in East Palo Alto, in a troubled family plagued by domestic abuse. Friends described him as a community activist and a happy, comedic man, and that he was never known to be violent and would advocate against violence, especially domestic abuse and gang activity.

Allman had been a producer for CreaTV, a San Jose-based public access broadcasting company, where he hosted a show entitled "Real 2 Real." In his show, Allman interviewed famous activists and figures such as Reverend Jesse Jackson. He had written a novel, Amazing Grace, about a fictional victim of domestic abuse who overcame her tribulations with the help of God. Allman had worked as a bouncer for a nightclub in Sunnyvale and was trained in mixed martial arts.

Neighbors and acquaintances of Allman said that he was unhappy about being treated unfairly by co-workers, experiencing racial discrimination, and having his job being moved to a night shift. The weekend prior to the attack, a friend said Shareef Allman visited him in Sacramento and showed him his trunk with an AK-47 inside and said that he had racist co-workers. The friend said that he thought Allman was joking and did not take the statement as a threat.


The three men killed are: Mark Muñoz, 59, of San Jose; John Vallejos, 51, of San Jose; and Manuel Guadalupe Piñon, 48, of Newman. Among the seven people injured were Jesse Vallejos and Mike Ambrosio.


Cupertino suspect died of self-inflicted gunshot, Santa Clara County coroner finds

October 6, 2011

UPDATE, Oct. 11, 3:45 p.m.: The Santa Clara County coroner’s office has concluded that Shareef Allman died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the temple, not from bullets fired by county sheriff’s deputies, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

PUBLISHED OCT. 5: Cupertino shooting suspect Shareef Allman was shot and killed Thursday morning in Sunnyvale during a confrontation with Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies.

The shooting happened about 7:20 a.m. outside a home near Peacock Avenue and Lorne Way. The neighborhood is about half a mile from the Hewlett Packard headquarters where Allman allegedly carjacked and shot a woman Wednesday morning, the San Jose Mercury News reports, citing multiple law enforcement agencies.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said three deputies spotted Allman, holding a handgun and crouching behind a car in the driveway of the home. ”The deputies identified him as the suspect,” the Chronicle quoted Smith as saying. “He did display, in a threatening manner, a firearm. We don’t have any more information on that, and all three deputies did fire on the suspect.”

Hundreds of federal and local officers had been searching for Allman, 47, of San Jose, for more than 24 hours.

Before the carjacking, sheriff’s officials say, Allman shot nine people at Lehigh Southwest Cement Permanente Plant, where he worked as a truck driver and was a union leader. Two died at the scene and a third died at a local hospital.

Wednesday afternoon, authorities — including a SWAT team, hundreds of officers from neighboring police departments, the FBI and the U.S. Marshal’s Service — cordoned off the Sunnyvale neighborhood where Allman’s car was found abandoned in a restaurant parking lot. Officers searched home-to-home while helicopters hovered, but they were unable to locate the suspect until Thursday morning.

Authorities recovered a handgun, a shotgun and two assault rifles from various locations Wednesday but believed Allman was still armed, Sheriff Smith told the Chronicle, citing surveillance video.

An HP employee, Enrico Balanuuit, who witnessed the attempted hijacking, told KQED’s Stephanie Martin that he was returning to the parking lot to get his laptop Wednesday morning when he saw a large man trying to talk to a female co-worker. “I noticed he chased her. I think he was trying to get something. He grabbed her and then he punched her. Then after he punched her, I tried to hide, was trying to get in the car and go help (the victim), but then when I was hiding, I heard two shots.” Balanuuit said. He said the woman’s nose was broken and she was shot in the “lower right side of her body.”

The motive for the shooting is not yet known. But a neighbor told the Chronicle that Allman had recently been moved to the quarry’s night shift, and “was not happy about it.” The neighbor, Paulette Conner, said he has a 20-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter, who she said was under police guard Wednesday afternoon at Allman’s apartment on Renaissance Drive in San Jose.

“She was frantic,” Conner said. “It’s horrible for her. He’s the only parent she knows. She’s a good kid, and I feel bad for her.”

A union representative, Mike Weltz, told The Bay Citizen that Allman had just returned from a four-week vacation and had been with the company for about 15 years. KGO Radio quoted co-workers describing Allman as a “lively, likeable guy” who became unusually sullen and silent on Tuesday. A group of Allman’s friends made public pleas for him to surrender to authorities.

The woman shot in the attempted carjacking and two male victims from the quarry were taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, said hospital spokesperson Joy Alexiou. One man was treated and released, and the other man and woman are in fair condition, meaning their vital signs are stable. “The patients are conscious. And indicators are favorable, ” Alexiou said.

Another victim was taken to the emergency room at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, spokesperson Gary Migdol confirmed. Migdol said the hospital would not release further details. A spokeswoman for Regional Medical Center in San Jose said two of the shooting victims were brought to the hospital. One was treated and released, and the spokeswoman would not release information on the other.

Carmen Rodriguez told the San Jose Mercury News that her brother-in-law, Mark Munoz, died in the shooting. “He was very loving, very caring, and he couldn’t wait to retire,” she said of Munoz, who was in his 50s and had worked at Lehigh for 20 years.

Allman produced a television show, “Real 2 Real,” which San Jose’s CreaTV broadcast. According to The Bay Citizen, Allman had recently interviewed the Rev. Jesse Jackson, among other politicians and celebrities, for the show, and had self-published “Amazing Grace,” a novel about female victims of domestic violence. YouTube videos from “Real 2 Real” were removed from the site this morning.

Peninsula Press staff writers Kathryn Roethel, Jessica Parks, Eric Johnson, Emily DeRuy, Liu (Laura) He and Joyce Ho contributed to this report.


Court documents paint picture of shooting suspect

By Dan Noyes -

October 6, 2011

The image of Shareef Allman that many saw for the first time -- interviews conducted on public access television -- showed a man who promoted peace, but court documents paint a much different picture.

Allman had claimed a book he wrote on domestic violence was the most popular book in six women's prisons, but in several court records uncovered by ABC7, Allman was shown to have faced some serious accusations himself.

Allman left behind two adult children by two different women: Valerie Allman was one of them, married to Allman for three years before she filed for divorce and a restraining order in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

"My husband has a violent temper," she wrote. "Cannot stand anyone to disagree with him. He interprets it as a challenge to him, and he reacts with physical violence."

She later went on to say that Allman "assaulted me several times during the marriage...grabbed me by my hair and dragged me off the bed."

Valerie Allman said the most serious incident required a police visit and medical treatment in August 1991.

"He picked up a brass lamp and hit me on the side of the head and knocked me unconscious," Valerie Allman wrote.

One time, she said Allman flew into a rage when he couldn't find one of his guns.

"He started accusing me...I did not take his gun, but he would not believe me," Valerie Allman wrote.

In court papers, Allman accused his former wife of being jealous "because I have found a new relationship and she still wants to be married."

"My wife should note that I am very physically fit, and being physically fit I know that I have to take care and not to exert what I may think would be normal pressure which other people may believe to be physical abuse," Allman wrote. "However, in this case, I can clearly say this physical abuse never occurred."

In the end, the judge gave Valerie Allman sole custody of their son and allowed Allman to visit. Valerie Allman's claims echo those that were heard on Wednesday from the mother of Allman's other child.


Cupertino shooting: Friends of Shareef Allman react to his death

Los Angeles Times

October 6, 2011

Friends of Shareef Allman, the suspect in the fatal workplace shootings in Cupertino, reacted with sorrow and regret Thursday that another life had been lost -- and that the man they knew as a pillar of the African American community and a kind-hearted mediator of conflict will never be able to explain his actions.

While law-enforcement officials have not yet made a positive identification, a man matching the description of Allman was shot and killed by Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies on a residential driveway early Thursday, in the heart of the neighborhood where an intensive manhunt had taken place after Wednesday’s shootings.

Shortly after hearing the news, Rev. Jethroe "Jeff" Moore II, the head of the Silicon Valley NAACP, and longtime community activist Walter Wilson jumped into a car to seek out Allman's 17-year-old daughter, known to all Allman's friends, Moore said, as "the love of his life."

"We are devastated by the loss of life," Moore said of the addition of the 47-year-old Allman to the tally of three killed at his alleged hands at Lehigh Southwest Cement's Permanente plant on Wednesday. "They just closed the book and we’ll never know what page was ripped from it.... For my own selfish reasons I wish he had been taken alive so we could at least have had some conversation or explanation."

Moore expressed condolences to the "three other families who have been devastated by this. To get up to go to work and never come back, it’s a shock," he said. "As a community, we are hurt and at a loss for the proper words."

Yet the overwhelming emotion by those who knew Allman was one of stunned confusion. Moore, who met Allman years ago before each turned to Christianity, said his strapping friend was always well-dressed and well-spoken. "He was a ladies man and I thought I was too," he said with a laugh about their early shenanigans.

But the days of club-hopping turned to more serious pursuits. In his cable-access show, in the book he self-published, and in the daily life he led, Allman pressed other African American men to be strong, honest leaders, Moore and Wilson said. He raised his daughter from infancy by himself. Her face was on the cover of his book, "Amazing Grace," which detailed his own troubled childhood and spoke out against domestic violence. He also helped raise a son, now 20, who has a different mother.

He came out of a family where there was some abuse between the mother and father, and he always talked about how he survived and made it out of that and he would never have that in his daughter’s life," Moore said. "He talked about how as black men we need to take responsibility for our families and raise them -- be dads, be strong dads -- a point he always drove home in his messages."

Now, his daughter is fatherless, an outcome Moore and Wilson called "mind boggling."

What baffles them most is that the Allman they knew had the skills to resolve conflicts -- and often did. He was the one who would intercede when emotions ran high among others to say, "How can we work this out? Let’s come to the table. We can come to an understanding that is satisfactory," Moore said. "I never even heard him raise his voice."

Those notions of Allman are now upside-down. According to a San Jose Mercury News interview with one of the men injured in the shootings, Allman clocked in at 4 a.m., poured a cup of coffee, then pulled a gun from his jacket and opened fire. Three men would die there and six would be injured. Allman is believed to have shot a woman in the arm a few hours later in a failed carjacking attempt, bringing the toll of injured to seven.

Wilson said that Allman had shared problems he was having at the cement plant, where he was employed for 15 years.

"He talked about his job in the past, on several occasions, that people were trying to do things to undermine him," said Wilson, who met Allman nearly a quarter-century ago. "He did feel that there were some people there who were doing systemic discriminatory practices."

But, Wilson said, "in general the issues that he had there, it seemed to me like he had it under control.... He did have options. That’s what boggles the mind."

Wilson, Moore and another local pastor Wednesday set up at a church near the command post and told law-enforcement officials "that if they spotted him to bring us out so we could talk him down."

They never got that chance.



Shareef Allman: from God to guns

By Kevin Fagan -

October 5, 2011

CUPERTINO -- Shareef Allman struggled for years with the pain of a tough upbringing, fractured family ties and inner demons, and his friends believed he had conquered that pain with his love for his children and for God.

Now they don't know what to believe.

The 49-year-old man they know as a peacemaker and churchgoing father shot up the quarry where he works Wednesday, killing three colleagues and wounding six, then shot and wounded a woman whose car he was trying to steal, police said. Until the news bulletins began blaring, many of his friends didn't even know he knew how to fire a gun.

And those who did never thought anything of it.

Never a fighter

Mitchell Julien, 50, of San Lorenzo, who has known Allman for 20 years, said he knew his friend had a .40-caliber handgun and shot it at ranges - but he described Allman as a "big teddy bear."

"If you met him, you'd love him," Julien said. "This guy is not a monster."

Longtime friend Pastor Jeff Moore, president of the NAACP San Jose/Silicon Valley branch, said that if Allman has an emotionally explosive streak, he's never seen it.

"When we were young, I was at parties with Shareef and we would go to clubs, but even in those days he was never violent," Moore said. "I've seen him break up fights - I have never seen him fight.

"Everything he does is to create a positive impression of black men."

Clues to the turmoil that Allman fought to overcome, however, could be found in his writings.

"I've struggled from childhood, to man, to be the best that I am," he wrote in the foreword to "Amazing Grace," his 2007 self-published novel decrying domestic violence. "I had a very disheartened childhood. I felt unloved and hurt, and that hurt feeling turned into hate. Hate for the drugs that my mother used and hate for my father for the women he used and abused."

He turned himself around, he wrote, with dedication to Christianity, saying, "Life for me today is a different tale."

'Ladies man'

Growing up in East Palo Alto, Allman was - and still is - a handsome, well-muscled man. He was "a bit of a ladies man before he became the family man that he is today," Moore said.

Twenty years ago he had a son, Shareef Kawaan Allman, by one woman, and then two years later he had his daughter, LaShae Allman, with another. Both relationships broke up, and Allman collected a criminal history that includes five convictions for driving on a suspended or revoked license, and misdemeanor convictions for possession of stolen property and disturbing the peace, authorities said.

Devotion to his children was apparent to all who knew him, friends said - and that might have had something to do with what happened Wednesday.

A neighbor at the apartment complex on Renaissance Drive in San Jose where Allman lives, Paulette Conner, said Allman had recently been moved to the 10 p.m.-to-6 a.m. shift at the quarry and "was not happy about it," because it left him less time with his daughter.

"My kids, I know, are a gift from above," Allman wrote in his book.

Religious involvement

For more than a decade, Allman has attended a cluster of churches in San Jose, singing in choirs, writing religious holiday plays and helping teach the gospel to youths, friends said. He produces and hosts "Real 2 Real," a religious talk show on San Jose's public access CreaTV, and has interviewed gospel singers and celebrities, including Damon Wayans, Jesse Jackson and Mr. T.

When trouble arises, Allman has often been the one to mediate, not escalate, his friends said.

"He's cool," said Albert Salazar, a neighbor of Allman's. "He doesn't mess with anybody. He loves God, and he was always helping kids stay out of gangs.

"He and I both come from pretty hard backgrounds, and kids can tell that and respect that."

When he first began raising his daughter, he was on welfare, Allman wrote in his book. However, since then he has worked as a model and a salesman, and he'd logged 15 years at the quarry where he worked until Wednesday as a truck driver.

Pastor Tony Williams of Maranatha Christian Center said he and Allman were close because they had both spent time behind bars and felt they had learned from the experience.

"He is a helper," Williams said. "I will have to ask him what went so terribly wrong."

Chronicle staff writer Jaxon Van Derbeken contributed to this report.



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