Four Santa Clara police officers are on routine paid administrative leave after a deadly shooting. Early in the morning on Jan. 5, police received multiple 911 calls about a man shooting into the parking lot and convenience store at the Rotten Robbie gas station on 3471 Lafayette St.
When the four officers arrived around 5:42 a.m. they found Shaun A. Kennedy, 55, inside the gas station with two employees and one customer. Kennedy was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun and a 9mm semiautomatic pistol. He was shot by police officers and died at the gas station. No one else was injured.
“We still don’t know how many shots were fired,” said Lt. Todd Cummins of the Santa Clara Police Dept. “He brought a lot of ammunition with him.”
Lt. Cummins says the wind and rain that morning made the investigation even more difficult because some of the lighter shells were carried away by the wind.
Santa Clara police are now working a joint investigation with the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office to figure out what happened leading up to the shooting. Before arriving at the gas station on Lafayette, Kennedy set fire to the cashier’s kiosk at the Rotten Robbie gas station at 19030 Stevens Creek Blvd. in Cupertino — Kennedy was an employee at that gas station.
“[We know he] was upset with Rotten Robbie,” said Lt. Cummins. “[He was a] long time employee and had frustrations. He also had personal issues.”
Investigators say Kennedy left behind recordings and personal writings that outlined a lot of those issues. Family members have also told investigators there were personal issues.
Rotten Robbie CEO Tom Robinson says there were no employment issues with Kennedy and none of his coworkers expected anything like this from him.
“Anyone that I’ve talked to, or anyone that I’ve heard talked to, it was a surprise to everybody,” said Robinson. “He was a long term employee and he was liked by everybody.”
Rotten Robbie brought in grief counselors and had multiple meetings to help employees. The company says employees at the Santa Clara location were very involved in the clean-up and putting the store back together and that seemed to help.
“We are certainly very relieved and very grateful that other employees weren’t hurt, that customers weren’t hurt, that the officers weren’t hurt,” said Robinson. “It was very sad, very tragic, but it could have been worse.”
Significant damage was done to the Rotten Robbie gas station in Cupertino. Robinson says it will take about three weeks to clean up.
The officers involved in the shooting have a varying range of experience on the force — everything from two years to 12 years. They will be on paid administrative leave until the investigation is concluded. It is routine for officers to be placed on paid administrative leave following a shooting.
Because this is a joint investigation with the District Attorney’s office, there’s no indication when the investigation will be completed.
Officers are asking that anyone who witnessed the shooting or has information pertaining to the incident contact Sgt. Alex Torke at the Santa Clara Police Dept. His phone number is (408) 615-4806.