Residents describe shooting rampage in South Richmond apartment complex

Residents at Crescent Park Apartments are accustomed to hearing gunshots, but a shooting spree Wednesday night left many unnerved. (photo by: Meghan Walsh)

Residents at Crescent Park Apartments are accustomed to hearing gunshots, but a shooting spree Wednesday night left many unnerved. (photo by: Meghan Walsh)

Rendell Pierce was watching television in his bedroom just after 10 p.m. Wednesday when he saw a flurry of lights through the window, accompanied by the thunder of gunfire.

“My daughter busted through the door and I yelled, ‘Get down!’” Pierce said.

Pierce and his daughter dove to the floor and stayed down for what felt like 15 minutes while the gunfire continued to illuminate the night sky.

“I’ve never heard anything like that,” said Pierce’s 24-year-old son, Kawazi, who was also home at the time.

The younger Kawazi has heard plenty of gunfire living at the Crescent Park Apartments – there have been at least two homicides there already this year – but this was different. It wasn’t a fleeting drive-by or a handful of rounds popped off in a heated exchange.

It was a sustained assault.

What residents heard, according to Richmond police, was a disgruntled security guard opening fire on his supervisor after the two men had an altercation earlier in the day. Police identified the suspect as Concord resident Doran Long Jr. Two on-duty security guards arrived on scene moments later and returned fire.

An office door at Crescent Park Apartments is punctured by 42 bullet holes after an employee allegedly shot his supervisor.(photo by: Meghan Walsh)

The next morning 42 bullet holes perforated an office door.

Police said Long then fled the scene armed with a rifle, shotgun and handgun. Roughly seven hours later, officers arrested Long in connection with the shooting, after spotting him on U.S. Highway 50 in red Toyota Tacoma, Richmond Police Lt. Bisa French said.

The supervisor, identified by the security firm as Chester Dancer, was wounded but is expected to survive.

But the length of the barrage wasn’t the only abnormality residents were talking about Thursday.

“I was really surprised when I found out what happened,” said Jermaine Robertson, who has lived in the south Richmond apartment complex two years. “It wasn’t us this time. It was security.”

Robertson, who also had kids asleep at the time of the attack, may have been surprised to hear who the suspected perpetrator was, but the display certainly didn’t unnerve him.

“(The gunshots are) like fireworks to me,”

The Richmond shooting was a continuation of violence that began in Concord, according to police. Earlier Wednesday, Long sprayed his neighbor’s house with 30 rounds – just missing a 9-year-old child – before driving to Richmond to continue his attack, police said.

Pierce described Long as about 6-feet tall and weighing more than 200 pounds. Both Pierce and Robertson said Long seemed discontented.

“He was upset about being a security guard,” Pierce said. “He didn’t like his job.”

But Pierce added that he didn’t know Long too well because he’d only worked at the apartment complex for a few months.

Crescent Park, a property of EAH Housing, a non-profit corporation, recently changed security providers. A spokesperson for EAH was unable to confirm when exactly the security company, Personal Protective Services, took over responsibility of the 378-unit complex.

Personal Protective Services President Stan Teets issued this statement Thursday: “I have reached out to Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus to offer any assistance we can provide over the course of this investigation. Our employees are professional and the hard working men and women of this company get up every day, putting their lives on the line to keep people safe. This situation is tragic…”

Residents noted that there have been several changes in private security companies at Crescent Park over recent years.

“They go through a lot of security guards,” Pierce said.

The complex has also been the site of recent controversy. News reports in April disclosed that two Richmond police officers were running a side security business – in violation of department protocol – that held contracts at Crescent Park. The officers allegedly supplied guns to underage participants in a police-run youth development program, called Explorers, and then employed them as security guards at the firm.

The Explorers were under 21, the legal age one must be to buy a handgun in California.

Richmond police would not comment Thursday on whether Long has a criminal history.

 

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