A man who was fatally shot by officers during a standoff at a convenience store in San Ramon early this morning began his crime spree Wednesday night in San Jose, where he stole a car, and then went to Dublin and stole a gun, police said. At about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, a man was unloading his luggage at the Fairmont Hotel on South Market Street in San Jose when a man walked up to him and stole his Volvo, San Ramon police Chief Scott Holder said at a news conference today. The suspect was later identified as 24-year-old Joseph Baumgardner, a resident of San Ramon and San Jose. At about 11:15 p.m., Baumgardner arrived at the Dublin Knives & Guns shop, where he backed the stolen Volvo through the glass doors at the front of the shop, Holder said. He then entered the store through the broken doors and stole a gun and some ammunition.
A camera captured a photo of the Volvo. At about 2:10 a.m. today, an officer on patrol in San Ramon noticed a man acting suspiciously at a 7-Eleven store in the 2500 block of San Ramon Valley Blvd., Holder said. The officer also noticed a Volvo parked out front. As the officer was running a check on the license plate of the Volvo, a clerk from the 7-Eleven store ran outside and called police. San Ramon police, Danville police, and Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputies responded to the convenience store. They called the suspect inside the store and tried to negotiate with him. He was seen walking around inside the store drinking beer and refused to cooperate with negotiators. He also demanded marijuana. At about 3:24 a.m., Baumgardner walked out of the store with a beer in one hand and a gun in the other. He initially had the gun pointed at the ground, but just before 3:30 a.m., he threw his beer down and pointed the gun at the officers. The officers shot him, and he died at the scene. At least four San Ramon police officers fired their guns. It was still unclear this afternoon how many other officers or sheriff’s deputies fired as well. “We are trained as police officers that when there is a threat to our lives to defend ourselves,” Holder said. Holder confirmed that the gun recovered at the scene was the same gun that had been stolen earlier in Dublin, but he did not know yet if it was loaded. Holder said the shooting is being investigated by San Ramon police, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. The four San Ramon police officers who shot at Baumgardner have been placed on leave during the investigation as per protocol.
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