PLEASANTON – Police in Pleasanton on Wednesday identified the 26-year-old man working as a Home Depot security guardas well as the suspects who were arrested with a toddler in their vehicle.
The guard, identified by Pleasanton police as Tri-Valley resident Blake Mohs, died following the shooting that occurred around 2:15 p.m. at the store at 6000 Johnson Drive.
Police said Mohs confronted the alleged shoplifter, a 32-year-old woman named Benicia Knapps who was attempting to steal an electric tool or charger and leave through the store's loading dock. She resisted and shot Mohs. He later died at Eden Medical Center.
Knapps then ran to a getaway vehicle driven by David Guillory, 31, that also had Knapps's two-year-old child inside.
About 15 minutes later, Knapps and Guillory were located and detained by Alameda County sheriff's deputies in a residential area of Oakland, and the child was released to relatives.
During a Wednesday press conference, Pleasanton Police Lt. Erik Silacci said that Guillory was booked into Santa Rita Jail, while Knapps was receiving medical care Alameda County and would be booked into Santa Rita Jail when she is released.
Authorities had previously revealed that Knapps had injured herself in the back of the Alameda Sheriff's Department patrol car, choking herself with the seatbelt in the back seat until she lost consciousness. She remains on a mental health hold.
Guillory and Knapps are facing multiple charges including murder, robbery, child endangerment, and conspiracy with additional charges expected.
Silacci said that Mohs was someone they worked with regularly and was well-respected by local police.
"Blake was a Tri-Valley resident. He was a son, he was a brother, and he was set to get married this summer," Silacci said."Unfortunately, Blake's life was cut short by a theft that turned into a robbery and ended with his murder."
Friends of Mohs said he was one of the nicest people you'd ever meet. He was active with the Boy Scouts his entire life and became an Eagle Scout at the age of 14. More recently volunteered with the Cub Scouts on the weekends.
He met his fiancé at a scouting camp near the Russian River where they were both camp counselors. Their summer wedding was going to be held at the camp.
"He had some aspirations of being in law enforcement so that's undoubtedly why he ended up in loss prevention," said Silacci.
The store was closed after the shooting Tuesday, but reopened Wednesday. Shoppers said the whole situation has them rattled.
"Very shocked to hear this happened here. Very sad to hear that somebody would actually do something like that," said Pleasanton resident Jamie Tompkins.
"We never expect this in Pleasanton. It's out of character for this community, so nobody's safe. Nobody is totally safe," said Glenn Gabel, another local resident.
Pleasanton Mayor Karla Brown issued a statement Wednesday about the fatal shooting of Mohs, who was involved in community youth programs and planned to get married this summer.
"I am devastated by the loss of Blake Mohs in yesterday's senseless shooting. Through his service to Tri-Valley organizations, Blake was a model for others. To have a life cut short is heartbreaking and infuriating. I'm joined by the City Council in offering our deepest condolences to Blake's family, friends, loved ones, and to everyone impacted by this tragedy," Brown said in the statement.
A Home Depot spokesperson said, "We're heartbroken over this senseless tragedy. Blake was our associate and friend, and our hearts go out to his family and everyone who knew and loved him."
Anyone who has information about the case is asked to contact the Pleasanton Police Department at (925) 931-5100.
Katie Nielsen contributed to this story.
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