VALLEJO (CBS SF) – Authorities have arrested the suspect in the slaying of an off-duty Richmond officer fatally shot by a family member in his home in Vallejo's Glen Cove neighborhood early Thursday morning, according to police.
The shooting occurred around 4:30 a.m. in a home in the 30 block of Narragansett Court. The scene was blocked off as investigators searched for evidence.
A neighbor who did not want to provide her name said she heard yelling around 4:30 a.m. at 35 Narragansett Court, then banging and a gunshot.
She said the person shot was a "kind" man who held events for foster children in the community.
During a news conference late Thursday morning, Richmond police identified the slain officer as 58-year-old Augustine "Gus" Vegas. He was shot multiple times, according to police. Medical personnel pronounced Vegas dead at the scene.
Vegas has served on the Richmond police force for 15 years. Several family members were home during the incident, according to police.
The suspect in the homicide was identified as 30-year-old Fairfield resident Robert Vega, the father of Vegas's 6-year-old grandson who was taken from the home after the shooting. Vega was later arrested at his Fairfield home with the young boy, who was taken into protective custody.
Richmond interim police Chief Allwyn Brown said the death of Vegas "is a huge blow to us, it's a tough loss."
"Gus was very likable, always pleasant," Brown said. "I never saw him have a bad day."
Richmond police Lt. Felix Tan said Vegas had 10 children and 20 grandchildren and was founded the Vallejo nonprofit Foster Greatness dedicated to providing for the needs of children in foster care. Tan said Vegas was a foster parent himself.
Investigators said they are treating the case as a homicide and attempted kidnapping. Vallejo Police Detectives and members of the Solano County District Attorney's Office with assistance from the Fairfield Police Department are in the process of investigating the incident at this time.
A police honor guard stood at attention, and saluted as the body of a veteran officer was removed from his home.
The coroner removed the body from that yellow house just before 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon, but crime scene investigators were still inside collecting evidence long after darkness fell.
Both men graduated from the same police academy 21 years apart.
"Gus has always worked very hard to support his family," said close friend Renee McCrary. "I mean, he's a detective. He took that position to get off the streets, you know, to be safe. And for this to happen in his own home, it's just horrific."
Richmond Mayor Tom Butt issued a statement following the news of Vegas' death.
"The senseless killing of this respected officer early this morning has left us deeply saddened and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family," Butt said.
TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.
for more features.