In connection with two separate fatal shootings outside a gym at Bayfair Mall last month, a San Leandro man has been arrested and charged with murder.
According to San Leandro police, the shootings occurred in the parking lot of the 24-Hour Fitness on September 14 and September 24 in the early morning hours. In both cases, the victims were shot while sitting inside their vehicles.
According to police, the victims were not intentionally targeted, and the offences were unrelated to the gym.
Police claimed they were able to identify a suspect using security footage after discovering a person who was seen coming to and from the places of both crimes. During the first homicide, the person wore similar attire, including black work boots and what police characterised as a “distinctive” metal shoelace keeper, as well as a red Nike rucksack.
The suspect, according to police, took the same path when fleeing the scene.
Following the identification of the suspect, authorities sent photographs to other law enforcement agencies and enhanced patrols in the region, including undercover surveillance.
An officer responding to an unrelated complaint near the mall, at Hesperian Boulevard and Halcyon Drive, noticed a man matching the suspect description around 2 p.m. Tuesday. The officer described the man as wearing a red Nike backpack and black work boots.
Additional officers arrived on the scene and arrested the man. During a search, authorities discovered an unsealed 9mm semiautomatic handgun on his person.
The suspect was identified as 23-year-old Joshua Ballard of San Leandro.
“We understand that this case drew a lot of attention from the community and caused an understandably high level of concern for public safety, particularly at 24-Hour Fitness Bayfair.” “Our detectives worked tirelessly to find and sort through numerous leads, evidence, and surveillance footage to connect the homicides and ultimately identify the suspect,” said San Leandro Police Lieutenant Abe Teng in a statement.
Ballard has been charged with two charges of murder, attempted carjacking, robbery, assault with a firearm, and firearms crimes by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
According to jail records, Ballard is being held without bond at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. His next court appearance is planned for Friday.