Walnut Creek curfew imposed after shooting, looting downtown

CLICK HERE if you’re having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device.

The city of Walnut Creek quickly imposed a curfew Sunday evening after a woman was shot in the city’s downtown as more than 200 people gathered, some of them looting stores in and around Broadway Plaza, in the afternoon.

The young woman was among the crowds and was shot near Koja Kitchen, a restaurant at the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Locust Street, according to a restaurant employee who saw the shooting.

At around 5:42 p.m., a single shot could be heard as cars were trying to make their way west on Olympic towards Locust, honking, a block from the Apple store, as a groups of looters were running up the sidewalk and darting in and around traffic.

A man came out of Koja’s Kitchen, wearing a white t-shirt, repeating, “she’s been shot!” to officers and yelling out the digits of a license plate for a car that may have been involved.

The woman, who had been hit in the arm with a bullet, grimaced as the man from Koja’s led her to sidewalk to sit down. But she remained alert as police and emergency responders tended to her wounds until she could be taken to John Muir.

The city has implemented a curfew from 6 p.m. that will stretch until 5 a.m. the following day and last until Monday, June 8, unless officials decide to lift it early. City officials asked businesses to close, city spokeswoman Betsy Burkhart said.

The shooting came as hundreds — mostly young people — spread out throughout the area, some breaking into stores with hammers and coming out with bags of belongings.

People had started to assemble downtown around 4 p.m., peacefully chanting “hands up, don’t shoot.” But soon after, a crowd turned into the Broadway Plaza shopping corridor and tried to break into Nordstrom, turning next to H&M and other stores along the row.

Police officers who were initially outnumbered did not immediately arrest the groups. Officers from El Cerrito, the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office and Richmond police arrived on scene to provide assistance and were seen going into the Macy’s store.

Burkhart could not confirm details about the shooting other than shots were fired in the area Sunday evening.

Police started tossing tear gas cannisters in the area in an effort to disperse crowds. The group mostly dispersed by about 6:30 p.m., leaving shattered glass, designer handbags and other luxury items in their wake.

Around that time, Pleasant Hill Police Department issued a message on Twitter noting that crowds of protesters had gathered along Contra Costa Boulevard, in the downtown area and the Crossroads Shopping Center. Police warned people to avoid the area.

The San Leandro Police Department also warned that there was “police activity” at several shopping centers, including Bayfair Mall, Marina Square and Walmart.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *