San Leandro police today asked for the public’s help in identifying a van that they believe is associated with a suspected road rage incident on Sunday night in which 45-year-old Wardell Taliaferro was fatally shot. However, in releasing a photo of the van police said they don’t know exactly how it was involved in the incident. Lt. Robert McManus said police are hoping that someone recognizes the van and contacts them. McManus said, “We do not know its involvement in the crime, whether it could be the suspect or could contain witnesses to the shooting.”
He said, “The vehicle is very distinct and releasing its image may produce leads in our investigation.” Officers responded to the area of Marina Boulevard and Verna Court shortly before 10 p.m. on Sunday to investigate reports of gunshots, police said. While officers were responding to that area, police received calls about a woman who was screaming for help from the Kaiser Permanente San Leandro Medical Center parking lot at 2500 Merced St., according to police.
When officers arrived at the hospital, they discovered Taliaferro, a San Leandro resident, in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, police said. He was accompanied by his girlfriend and two children, ages 4 years old and 4 months old. Taliaferro was the biological father of the 4-month-old, police said.
Officers and emergency personnel attempted life-saving measures on Taliaferro but he succumbed to his injuries, according to police. Investigators found evidence of a shooting in the 1900 block of Marina Boulevard, which is about a half-mile north of the hospital. Police said evidence at the shooting scene suggests several “unassociated vehicles” were in the area when the shooting occurred and described the incident as a “suspected road rage shooting.”
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