One of two suspects in a violent armored car robbery in Pinole on Wednesday that left one person dead and three injured was arraigned this afternoon in Richmond but did not enter a plea. William Fuller, a 30-year-old El Cerrito resident, is scheduled to return to Contra Costa County Court in Richmond on Sept. 6 to be assigned an attorney and enter a plea.
His bail was set at $2.2 million, according to a court clerk. A second suspect has also been charged in the case, but remained in the hospital today. According to police, the incident began shortly after 9:15 a.m. Wednesday in front of the Wells Fargo bank at 1374 Fitzgerald Drive. A guard of a Loomis armored vehicle was leaving the bank with a bag of cash when a man investigators believe was 25-year-old San Pablo resident Pierre Daniel confronted her, senior deputy district attorney Harold Jewett said.
“He told her something to the effect of ‘don’t resist’ and grabbed the money bag,” Jewett said. The guard resisted and the two got into a struggle over the bag and the guard’s gun, which she was attempting to unholster, Jewett said. At that point a man investigators believe was 24-year-old San Pablo resident Freddie Daniel, Pierre Daniel’s brother, joined the struggle and the two men wrestled the bag of money from the guard’s hands. The guard was, however, able to maintain control of her gun and shot each suspect once as they were running away, Jewett said.
Pierre Daniel dropped the bag of money and disappeared around a corner, but as the guard went to get the bag, he reappeared and shot her, shattering her hip, Jewett said. Pierre Daniel grabbed the bag and ran off toward Fitzgerald Drive, where he fell down, either because he tripped or because he was wounded.
Freddie Daniel ran toward the highway and managed to evade police, who were responding to the scene. Officers found Pierre Daniel lying on the sidewalk on Fitzgerald Drive. As an officer approached him, Pierre allegedly made eye contact with the officer and reached for his gun, which was lying near him on the sidewalk, Jewett said. The officer ordered him not to reach for the gun and warned him that he would shoot him if he did, Jewett said. But Pierre Daniel allegedly reached for the gun anyway and the officer shot him multiple times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A Richmond police officer who witnessed the shooting said that Pierre had grabbed his gun and started to swing it toward the Pinole officer when he was shot, Jewett said. One of the bullets from the officer’s gun appears to have ricocheted off the sidewalk and struck another officer, Pinole police Officer Brian “Justin” Takacs, in the shoulder. Takacs remained hospitalized today, but is doing well, police said.
The Loomis guard was also taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive her injuries. Freddie Daniel, meanwhile, made his way to a vehicle investigators believe was being driven by Fuller. Fuller took Freddie Daniel to Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo to be treated from a gunshot wound, where Freddie Daniel was arrested.
Fuller was arrested later that night, police said. Jewett filed charges today against Freddie Daniel and Fuller. Fuller was charged with two counts of attempted murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit a robbery. Freddie Daniel is facing the same charges as Fuller with the addition of one count of murder for participating in the crimes that led to his brother’s death.
The murder charge was filed under the state’s provocative act doctrine, which is designed to hold participants of certain crimes in which homicide occurs responsible for that death regardless of who killed them. “Freddie himself set the wheels in motion that led to Pierre’s death so he’s responsible for that death,” Jewett said.
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