A suspect in the murder of a man who was gunned down in front of his 13-year-old daughter in Hayward nearly four years ago was arrested in Vallejo on Tuesday, police said today. Dereak Turner, 24, of Vallejo, was arrested for the shooting murder of 38-year-old Thomas Cunningham on Nov. 24, 2009. Cunningham was shot at about 10 p.m. in the 22000 block of Vermont Street, near B Street, while walking his two dogs with his daughter.
The two had just gotten ice cream. Hayward police said Cunningham and Turner got into an argument when Turner allegedly took exception to one of Cunningham’s dogs sniffing at his leg on the sidewalk. After the shooting, police found Cunningham unconscious at the scene. He later died Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley. The shooter was described as a black man in his late teens or early 20s, between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a slight build.
Cunningham’s daughter provided information that allowed police to release a sketch of the suspect days after the shooting. Hayward police served an arrest warrant Tuesday in Vallejo for Turner after Inspector Rob Lampkin gathered enough statements and evidence to bring the case to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, Sgt. Mark Ormsby said. The district attorney’s office filed a murder charge against Turner and obtained an arrest warrant, Ormsby said. Cunningham had been the head custodian at Dublin Elementary School since 2006.
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