For release on June 12, 2020
Deputy District Attorney
DA Report: Santa Clara Officers Lawfully Shot and Killed Man
Who Invaded Gas Station with Multiple Firearms
Four Santa Clara police officers lawfully shot and killed a San Jose man during an early morning one-man armed invasion of a Rotten Robbie’s gas station where he used to work, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has determined.
During his bizarre takeover on January 5, 2019, Shaun Kennedy, a 54-year-old longtime employee of the company, threatened employees and shoppers and repeatedly fired his shotgun, striking parked vehicles, the walls and gas pumps. Responding officers fired when he was aiming his Mossberg 500 Pump shotgun weapon toward them.
Wrote Rob Baker, the prosecutor who authored the 33-page public report:“…the use of deadly force by Santa Clara Police Department Officers Douglas Bell, Eric Janssen, Jerry Ogg, and Kenneth Nagata was in response to an immediate threat of great bodily injury or death to themselves, their fellow officers, and civilians. Their conduct undoubtedly saved lives.”
The District Attorney’s Office investigates all fatal law enforcement encounters to determine if the lethal force was legal. By law, officers can use deadly force when they or others are faced with imminent danger.
Kennedy entered the gas station just before 6 a.m. He told two employees and several customers to leave or he would kill them. As panicked people ran for their lives, he started shooting. Investigators estimated Kennedy fired more than 60 times inside and outside the convenience store. One of his shots hit a nearby camper. Kennedy shot several gas pumps.
Dispatched after numerous calls to 911, officers arrived within a minute. Inside they could see Kennedy, who was repeatedly firing the shotgun, part of a barrage which was captured with an officer’s body-worn camera. The officers believed that either the shooter had already injured or killed civilians inside the convenience store or was holding a hostage. When Kennedy turned and leveled his weapon at officers, four officers fired their weapons. Kennedy was struck nine times and died at the scene. Near his body, police found the shotgun, a loaded Springfield Armory XD-9 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a bandolier with additional shotgun shells, and a backpack that contained 97 additional 9mm rounds. It was later found that Kennedy was the sole suspect in an attempted arson incident at another Rotten Robbie’s in Cupertino.
Investigators found an audio cassette player with an attached microphone in Kennedy’s van underneath a gun holster. On the recording, Kennedy’s voice is heard saying: “When you poke the bear, the bear pokes back.” Investigators suspect the recording was a reference to a sexual assault case the District Attorney’s Office was investigating involving Kennedy, but it’s not clear if that was the motive for the shooting. Kennedy’s employer at Rotten Robbie was unaware of any dispute with the company or his coworkers. He had no known mental health history.