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Suspects In Fatal Laptop Theft From Oakland Starbucks Face Murder, Manslaughter Charges

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- The two suspects arrested in connection with the theft of a laptop in Oakland's Montclair neighborhood and subsequent fatal collision Tuesday are facing multiple charges including murder with special circumstances, according to authorities.

Oakland laptop theft and homicide suspects
Oakland laptop theft and homicide suspects Byron Reed (left) and Javon Lee (Oakland Police Department)

On Friday, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged 22-year-old Byron Reed of San Francisco and 21-year-old Javon Lee in connection with the homicide of 34-year-old Shuo Zeng.

According to the Oakland Police Department, Reed was charged with special circumstance murder and second-degree robbery, while Lee was charged with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree robbery.

The theft occurred at around 11:30 a.m. at the Starbucks location in the 2000 block of Mountain Boulevard. The victim, an adult male later identified as Zeng, was working on his laptop when the suspects snatched his laptop and ran outside.


The theft victim pursued the robbers outside and confronted them as they were driving away in a getaway vehicle.

One witness said the victim tried to jump on the vehicle, which was speeding away, resulting in the victim's critical injuries. The victim was transported to a hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly before 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

The two suspects were arrested in connection with the theft and fatal injury, authorities announced on Wednesday. Police later said Reed and Lee were arrested in the 9400 block of MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Investigators said a crew of three men committed the robbery. One suspect is still on the run, but police have not released his identity.

Alameda County prosecutors say that both suspects have a criminal history. Prosecutors said that Reed was convicted of  second-degree robbery in San Francisco on Nov. 22, 2017, and Lee was convicted of second-degree robbery in San Francisco on Feb. 27, 2017.

As deputies escorted Reed out of court he shouted, "I love you!" to his sister Shaquila Reed, 30, of Oakland, who attended the brief hearing with another female family member.

After Dickinson said that Byron Reed would be held in custody without bail, which is standard practice when defendants are first charged with murder, Shaquila Reed shouted, "Why no bail?" but the deputies who were guarding the courtroom didn't take any action against her.

After Shaquila Reed left the courthouse she got into a confrontation with two of Lee's family members. They apparently were upset that Reed had told reporters before the hearing that she thinks her brother is innocent because he was babysitting her child at her home in East Oakland at the time of the laptop robbery and he is hanging around "with the wrong kind of people."

Four deputies had to separate Reed and Lee's family members.

Shaquila Reed told reporters before the hearing that her brother couldn't have been involved in the crime because "he was home with me all day" but later admitted that she left him with her child at one point while she did errands so she can't account for all of his time.

Reed said her brother is "a very loving person" and said killing someone "is one mistake he wouldn't make."

Lee, whose bail was set at $255,000, and Byron Reed are scheduled to return to court on Monday to be assigned attorneys and possibly enter pleas.

The investigation into the fatal incident is ongoing and police are still determining if additional suspects are involved.

The department and Crime Stoppers of Oakland have offered a reward of up to $15,000 for information that would lead to an arrest in this case.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Oakland Police Department Homicide Section at 510-238-3821.

© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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