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Suspected Gunman In Attempted Fremont Catalytic Converter Theft Arrested

FREMONT (CBS SF) – A man suspected of opening fire on eyewitnesses while attempting to steal a catalytic converter in a Fremont neighborhood has been arrested, police said.

On the morning of September 3, police said the gunman and another suspect tried to steal the device from a work truck near Havasu Street and Choctaw Drive in the city's Warm Springs neighborhood.

Police said a victim armed himself with a crowbar and struck one of the suspects during the attempted theft. The suspects began to leave the scene in a vehicle, but the suspected gunman fired multiple rounds at the victim and his co-workers before driving away.

A construction worker who was working on a nearby home told KPIX 5 last month that he heard sounds from his car and saw the suspects trying to remove a catalytic converter from his vehicle as well. After telling them to leave, the owner said the suspects fired about five shots in his direction.

Fremont Catalytic Converter Theft / Shooting
Fremont police on the scene of an attempted catalytic converter theft and shooting in Fremont on September 3, 2021. (CBS)

According to the owner, who did not want to give out his name, the suspects left a saw under his vehicle but did not get the converter.

Hours after the incident, detectives found the suspect vehicle and conducted surveillance. The vehicle was determined to be stolen out of San Francisco, police said.

Detectives also identified the shooting suspect as 34-year-old Rufus Barker of Oakland. An arrest warrant on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, negligent discharge of a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle and grand theft was obtained.

Police said Barker was on felony probation of being a felon in possession in a firearm and had previous arrests on various weapons charges.

On September 21, detectives arrested Barker at a Hayward motel without incident. Police said he arrived in another stolen vehicle.

Barker was booked into Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and was arraigned two days later on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed / loaded firearm in a vehicle, possession of two stolen vehicles and possession of a controlled substance while armed.

Police said Barker has since posted bail. His next scheduled court appearance is at the East County Hall of Justice on December 9.

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