Retired Officer Fires Gun During Incident at Southampton Center

Both rounds struck a suspect's vehicle. No people were injured by gunfire.

Update: 7:05 p.m.

Shots were fired this afternoon in the parking lot of the Southampton Center after employees from Raley’s and two retired police officers tried to detain a Fairfield woman who was suspected of stealing wallets from shoppers. 

According to Lt. Frank Hartig the 46-year-old African-American woman, Arshawn Neal, was approached by a Raley’s store manager after she was spotted stealing wallets from the purses of store patrons.  While the manager was confronting the woman, a retired police officer approached and tried to help the store manager.

At that point the incident turned violent.  “After retired officer number one identified himself as a police officer, a major fight ensued,” said Hartig.  “It moved into the parking lot.”

Then a second retired officer approached, identified himself as a police officer and told the woman to stop resisting, said Hartig.

At about the time the second retired officer became involved a man approached the melee, grabbed the suspect’s purse and fled to a car parked nearby.  The suspect then started to pull away and hit the second retired officer who had chased the suspect as he ran from the fight.

The retired officer who was hit rolled on the ground then saw that the car was coming at him again.  He then pulled out a revolver and fired twice at the approaching car, hitting it with both rounds.

The suspect then drove out of the shopping center and got onto Interstate 780 going west.  As he entered the freeway he was spotted by two officers who were responding to the incident.  Those officers followed the suspect, Stephon Anthony, a 50-year-old African-American from Oakland, and saw him toss something out of the car as he exited the freeway at Columbus Parkway.

The man stopped at the Parkway Plaza where officers arrested him. One of the officers then recovered a wallet from the off-ramp.  “The wallet belonged to a woman who was shopping at Raley’s and wasn’t even aware it had been stolen,” said Hartig.

While the man was being detained on Columbus Parkway, the other suspect was being detained at the Southampton Center. “The woman made her way to the east end of the parking lot where she was arrested without incident,” said Hartig.  “All the fight was gone out of her at that point.”

Hartig couldn’t confirm the number of wallets found in the car because the investigation is on-going.  “The officer only saw the one wallet thrown from the vehicle and that was recovered,” said Hartig.  “But we have several people who have come forward and said they were victims of theft related crime.”

“This incident really exemplifies what our profession is all about,” said Hartig.  “When trouble was brewing, instead of running away, they (the two retired officers) approached the trouble and tried to help resolve the situation.”

“There are a lot of law enforcement people who work for other agencies and live in Benicia and they retire here too,” said Hartig.

4:30 p.m.

A unknown number of gunshots was fired this afternoon near the Raley's store in Southampton Center.

According to Lt. Frank Hartig nobody was hit by the gunfire.  Asked what prompted the shootng Hartig said, "I don't know."

Police are questioning the person who fired the weapon as well as a number of witnesses who were in the vicinity when the shots were fired.

Hartig believed all the people involved in the shooting are currently being questioned by officers.  "We are confident that the people involved in this incicdent are not running around," said Hartig.

Riley Willerson June 28, 2012 at 05:17 PM
David Duke AKA: Joe Fletcher, Here is a reality, if a crime takes place and it is of a person of color, the headline will read "Black Man" or Hispanic Male" steals car. How many times do you see "White Man" steals car? In most cases, if it's a person of color, it will state so and when it is a "Caucasian" it will only state "Man steals car" I am sure JB can contest to this. Now I blame this on the media who continue to report in this manner, no offense JB.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 28, 2012 at 05:53 PM
The under-lying message of all of this is that America is even more divided than we have been since, maybe Reconstruction. Don't take my word for it just read the afore-mentioned comments of hatred and racism and division written by our fellow citizens of This sleepy bedroom town, called Benicia. If that doesn't convince you, turn on CNN and see where we have our first African-American AttorneyGeneral (Eric Holder) being threaten by the republicans' in Congress to be helded in contempt; despite the fact that President Obama has claimed Executive Privilege. One commenter on patch said she was ashamed to have her childred in benicia schools. Well I am ashamed for you for not recognizing this dormant hatred and racism in Benicia before this incident. I saw it the very first day I arrived here. I sensed it and I experienced it. Take it from a Alabama boy who history and legacy is tainted with de-segregation, hatred, fear and even violence perpetrated on a race of people by another race of people. Since minorities knows more about the hardship of life they possess a potential superiority. A superiority that is the underlying drama of all conservative thinking politics. A superiority that if it was to be realized; would tear a profound shift in the Psychology, Sexuality, and the Moral Imagination of every white alive!!! IT HAS BEGUN!!!
Paul Harford June 28, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Interesting responses. Racist, ignorant, conservative and over-loaded with testosterone. Yeah I wish a simple fence fixed all our problems. I wish happy home boy did a little better in skool and that white folk wouldn't bait him. Most of all what's with the gunfire? Retired cops running around with guns, shooting them in a parking lot? I don't care if the perp was perceived to be using deadly force with his car, it's a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ parking lot in front of one of the busiest retail establishments in town! Years ago I remember an article where a Benicia cop was called on to discharge his weapon while performing his duty. He emptied his clip at a car in the state park. I believe he hit the car something like three out of fifteen shots and that car was parked. Maybe we ought to re-think some of these retirement benefits, like carrying a loaded gun. It's not enough that so many city budgets are held fiscally hostage by police retirement plans, but strapping on your iron to hit the grocery store?
Riley Willerson June 28, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Did the officer have proper documentation to carry his concealed weapon, iin speaking with a law enforcement friend, even retired police have to maintain weapons qualification? Secondly, was the discharge of his weapon safely discharged without the possibility of injuring others in the parking lot? This could go on and on. Or maybe it just came down to this "Car coming at him, which could of killed him, take the shot. Monday morning quarterback, easy to do. It all worked out and they caught the bad guys/gals
Angelina Davis June 28, 2012 at 06:39 PM
90% of these comments are hilarious and sad! To the individuals that speak of not wanting "outsiders" in Benicia, putting up a fence around Benicia or stopping "thugs" from entering the Benicia city limits: Get a grip on reality! You cannot stop anyone from visiting Benicia whether their intentions are good or bad! If you don't like people of color living in or visiting Benicia, move away! May I suggest Boone County, West Virginia. I'm sure the White family (The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia) would welcome you with open arms! LOL!!!!
Marie June 28, 2012 at 07:10 PM
A crime was committed. LIFE HAPPENS. This has become a hate forum. Do not lower yourselves by slinging mud at each other. The ignorant, elitist, racist remarks make me very sad. Yesterday was very scary for those of us who were there during all this. Please stop making it worse by beating each other up verbally.
Robert Livesay June 28, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Paul was there not some Liberal comments?
Karl Voigt June 28, 2012 at 08:25 PM
I would praise the actions of the REAL police officers who actually caught the criminal. I would praise the actions of the Store Manager AND the first retired police officer. I seriously question the judgement and even the legal justification for the actions of the second retiree. Perhaps he will claim he was "Standing his ground.....". Even if you are still a great shot, lying on the ground and firing up at an approaching car is a good and necessary thing to do in a crowded parking lot ? I think not. The logical extension of what Mr. Friday seems to be saying is that all of us should start "pack'in" when we go to the supermarket.
Ken Krohn June 28, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I don't know about the rest of you but I what to thank the retired officers for getting involved to help stop the law breakers and get them arrested. I am thankful no one was hurt and the crime was stopped. If it weren't for our laws and police officers we would all be victims to others that want to take what me have worked for. My thanks to the police active and retired.
Amanda Pangelina June 29, 2012 at 04:57 AM
If we are talking about statistics maybe they can publish articles on child molestation crimes which are primarily done by WHITES. Guess breaking into cars isn't as fun. Like really? This is a race issue in 2012? Let's get real. ALL RACES commit crimes. There are good people and then there are bad people. Trying to make it a race issue is ignorant. Let's be happy Benicia is a town where we have citizens,retired policemen are or not, who care enough to stop a crime in action. Let's be happy that we have a police force that is quick to be able to catch these people before they can get away. Because at the end of the day, this is what is going to keep Benicia a safe environment.
Jason June 29, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Sonny, blacks make up about 6% of the state's population while whites make up 57%. Yes, that's right. Only 6 out of every 100 Californians are black, yet 47 out of every 100 people in state prisons are black. Wait, let me guess... they're not more prone to crime, the courts are just "racist."
Stephanie June 29, 2012 at 06:09 AM
These comments represent a very small group of people and it seems to me that the majority of people commenting here are entirely too race-obsessed. Facts are facts and opinions are opinions. Remember that saying about opinions and the body part that they resemble? How everyone has one and everyone's stinks? We are more tolerant as a society than we ever have been in the short history of our nation. Just look at all the pride months...black pride, gay pride, etc. Enough with the racism garbage. So the perps were both black. So what. I get dirty looks and rude comments and glares from a lot of people in this town because I'm low income. I'm also white. Get over it, folks. Getting mired down in self professed (and often self propogated) victimization is a waste of time, energy and resources. We have different colored skin, we have different cultures, we live in a country that is sometimes seemingly unfair, but we all still have a lot more freedom than most people all over the world. And please, JB, if there's any way to remove me from getting more emails about this stream, make it so! I can't take any more.
Stephanie June 29, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Complaining about racism and then claiming that minorities are superior? Quite hypocritical.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 29, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Stephanie(jane) you ignorant - - - -, That is a paraphrase from one of the most progressive and profound White writers/authors of the 20th century, Norman Mailer. I changed a few words just because I knew ignorant, simpletons like you would rebute like you just rebutted. I took out the term Negroe(we were called that in the20ties,40ties, 50ties and 60ties). Notice I didn't use Black or African-Americans'' I used minorities. But somehow you found a way to shoot the messenger and the message. Here is the real qote: "Since the Negroe knows more about the ugliness of life he possess a Potential Superiority. A superiority that if it was to be realized; would tear a profound shift into the Psychology, the Sexuality, and the Moral Imagination of every white alive. This is the under-lying drama and reasoning of conservative thinking politics"!!! NORMAN MAILER And Stephanie this is not a new saying from Norman Mailer or Bobby Richardson or even Kanye West. The great Eighteenth Century philosopher, Nietzche said something similar when he said, "That which does not kill you.... will make you stronger"
Bruno June 29, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Here is a different thought regarding socio-economics... Why are there poor people (of any race) desperate to steal from others to support themselves for the basic necessities in the U.S. (the Land of Opportunity)? I think we need to do more to support all citizens in this time of economic chaos (emphasis on empowering via education and career opportunities in the U.S.) The sad fact that the couple is older and resorting to such desperate measures depicts how many people are failing and falling - falling with no safety net. And, the challenges to overcome a life of crime (once “branded”) are unbelievable at any age. Who would hire an ex-convict (of any race) to provide an opportunity to change? This is a vicious cycle that is present, yet one that continues to be ignored.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 29, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Bruno, you are correct but that is too complex of an analogy. We like the simple, yes the simpletons like the simple. Instead of attacking and addressing the Corporate thieves or the one percenters or the banks that got the bail out. We take on the little guy because we are cowards. We are , to quote the now embattled Attorney General, Eric Holder, "We are a nation of Cowards"!!! We are bullies and big guns and little manhood or womanhood.
friendly black person June 29, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Why are you guys still talking about this? It's just showing how sheltered Benicia really is. And what bout the white people who put stupid videos online. You don't see black people getting fucked by horses I much rather rob and steal then that
Stephanie June 30, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Bobby, insulting me doesn't prove your intelligence. Now what would Ursula think of you insulting your neighbor??? Sticks and stones.
John jones June 30, 2012 at 12:57 AM
You guys need to fix your shit over there.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 30, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Wohhh, Ursula knows if you mess with the Bull....You get the horns....
upptick June 30, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Such a pity, these poor middle age black people who apparently sustain themselves by engaging in petty crime. And now there's a bit of a debate going on this board over what's obvious to anyone willing to admit the obvious -- black people commit crime in a hugely disproportionate fashion. The stats are awful, but they're beyond dispute: there are more black men in prison that in college, and in many of our urban areas well over half of the black men are either in prison, on parole, or on probation. In other words, the stereotypical black man being a criminal is supported by huge amounts of data.
Michaelangelo June 30, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Bobby, Once again you've overexposed yourself and revealed your affinity for the film Kindergarten Cop. Perhaps you live in the part of town nearest to the refinery and your rant is fueled by inhalation of fumes. It seems you've quoted everyone from nietzsche to Bubba Paris but have yet to convey your own thoughts. I'd expect you to be more militant by now, I demand some Malcolm X quotes.
Lynn Sheridan June 30, 2012 at 02:27 AM
I am so happy the retired policemen were in Raley's at the time. A big Thank You for stepping in and leading to the capture of the pair of thieves. Good Job!!
Robert Livesay June 30, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Bobby I do believe you mean well. But you must admit you do have a very negative way of showing it.
Kenny June 30, 2012 at 03:35 AM
No. Actually he has become a bore. And since he puts his own little spin on everything he chooses to comment on, he doesn't mean well. Frustrated middle aged man who is frustrated that the 60's and 70' passed him by. yes. God, shoot me for commenting on this thread.
RJ Stewart June 30, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Something the "data" you reference doesn't address is the apparent reluctance of police to file charges against the 'majority' population. Recent high profile headlines e.g., Sandusky, Zimmerman, Priest in Fairfield . . all have a common thread, law officials could have pressed charges against these upstanding citizens long before they became infamous - but didn't. Familiarity, the good ole boy network, benignly turns a blind eye to criminal activity by the majority that would not be tolerated if committed by a minority. How many folk should be sitting in cells because of the banking and housing fiascos . . and who would they be? Also, crime reflects opportunity and situation. If you're poor and lacking education you probably won't have the chance to run a half-billion dollar ponzi scheme or discriminate in the hiring process but you will have the chance to rob the corner store or violently eliminate your competing street-pharmaceutical dealing homeboy.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 30, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Of course R.J. it's the low hanging fruit that they want. Little labor and big gains!!! LOW HANGING FRUIT City streets and minority families are usually the growing spots Where they are abundantly grown and harvested so easily when otherwise the pickings are not The most popular flavors are black and brown for they stimulate a healthy system with hardly a  protest or frown Nurtured and grown with the best of fertilizers watered by haters, bigots, and profilers This fruit is picked by the local constable to feed the mouths of those in power in their weakest times and most vulnerable hours Oh this low hanging fruit will never flicker for it yields a high volume with little labor and danger for the picker
Riley Willerson June 30, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Jason and fletcher, I guess you really are having a hard time with  the statistics/percentage of what race commits sex crimes against children.  Middle aged, professional white male.  You see pointing fingers does not get us any where.  Poor is Poor and yes there is a large population of Black and Hispanics that  continue to be criminals and rob  and kill each other at an alarming rate.  But you sir are a very small group that does not represent the city of Benicia. Time to move on folks. This topic has ran its course of hate and disappointment with the American Race.
Joanne Earle June 30, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Cops are pretty good at judging when to fire and when not to. I have a feeling he had a safe shot.
Riley Willerson December 02, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Hey Joe if you want to talk about statistics. White males lead the way in sex crimes against children. Middle aged, professional white male. You see pointing fingers does not get us any where. I see that in June this left you speechless as well, does it strike to close to home for you? What do you say Joe?


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