Rheem Parking Lot Shooting Rattles Community

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Rheem Parking Lot Shooting Rattles Community

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2 victims and 1 suspect suffered gunshot wounds after a shooting occurred near the Moraga Starbucks in the Rheem Shopping Center on the evening of January 19.

According to Moraga Police Chief Jon King, the department 1st received a call about the shooting at approximately 7:30 PM. “When we arrived, we found that 2 people here had been shot, and the suspect was last seen running northbound. We immediately – not only Moraga police officers, but officers from other jurisdictions – responded, and as we were setting up to search for the suspect, we discovered him over on the other side of Rheem in the shopping center over by the St. Mary’s campus there. He had also suffered a gunshot wound,” said King.

The gunman was later confirmed to be 21-year-old Isaiah Glaze, who assaulted his ex-girlfriend and her friend after ramming his blue sedan into her car’s rear bumper outside Starbucks. Glaze’s gunshot wound appeared to be self-inflicted.

All 3 people involved were treated by the Moraga-Orinda Fire District and transported to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. The victims have reportedly been treated and released, but the suspect remains in the hospital as of Monday night.

Moraga residents reported seeing a helicopter, fire truck, and multiple police cars near the area on the community app Next Door.

King noted that the shooting “appears to be an isolated incident,” related to domestic violence.

“There’s no outstanding danger to the public as a result of this incident,” said King. “This wasn’t a random incident. It wasn’t like some stranger came into town and was looking for someone to assault. The victims and the suspect knew each other, and that much I can tell you because I don’t want people to think that this is a random thing and we have people coming into our town to do things like that.”

Hearing about the shooting was still surprising to many community members.

“It was pretty scary to hear about the shooting because my mom and I were at the Starbucks the same morning,” said junior Jessica Darfler.

Junior Connor Johnson, an employee at the Taco Bell located in the same parking lot as Starbucks, reported ending his shift just an hour before the shooting occurred. “It’s surreal to hear about stuff like this so close to you,” he said.

With Sunday’s shooting the most recent incident in a string of violent events – including home invasions and the shooting that occurred on Halloween night in Orinda – some feel that the so-called Lamorinda ‘bubble’ may be beginning to burst.

“It does kind of show that nowhere is truly safe. I don’t know if it’s a consequence of growing older and just hearing more news, but it feels like there is a rise in this sort of stuff in Lamorinda,” said Johnson.

“I think that the majority of Campo kids grow up in a fairly suburban area and because of that aren’t all that exposed firsthand to tragedy,” Johnson added, while admitting that his experience has been similar. “Of course no one should be exposed to tragedy, however. But a good example of the dichotomy is our boss, who firsthand saw the shooting and went back to work about 10 minutes after, while all the kids who were off work at the time in our Snapchat group – of mostly Campo and St. Mary’s kids – were freaking out for a solid hour.”

Nonetheless, both Johnson and Darfler don’t feel that the incident will have lasting effects on the community.

“I think that it will shake things up a little, people being more aware of gun violence and stuff, but I don’t think it was really that polarizing of an event to cause a serious and permanent change to everyone’s outlook on the community,” said Johnson.

Darfler agreed, “I think that I will still feel safe around that area because sometimes I go to that shopping center with my friends.”

While the shooting occurred on a weekend, principal John Walker noted, “If that incident had happened on a school day, we would have activated our emergency system and called for a shelter in place.”

According to King, it is currently unknown what charges the shooter will face, as that decision will be made by the District Attorney.