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Murder suspect shot in San Leandro

on September 22, 2011

The suspect in connection with the woman found dead in a Richmond restaurant was shot by police earlier this morning after a long standoff.

San Leandro police received a call yesterday morning saying the suspect, 42-year-old Rafael Zarate, was in a home on 12500 Central Avenue near the 880/238 freeway interchange. Richmond Police Dept. Lt. Bisa French said the San Leandro police surrounded the house, but Zarate refused to surrender.

Officers from Richmond’s SWAT department joined the standoff. At 1:40 a.m. Thursday, Zarate came down the stairs holding what appeared to be a long rifle.

An officer shot Zarate and he was rushed to a hospital, where he is now in custody.

French said he is the main suspect in the murder of 30-year-old Jensy Romero, who was found Tuesday evening in the bathroom of Angie’s Restaurant and Bakery on the 12000 block of San Pable Avenue.

Romero’s death was “likely domestic related,” French said. The police had “indications that it might be a prior boyfriend of hers.”

It is unclear whether Zarate is a Richmond resident, French said.

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