Sep 10, 2015
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Richmond police officers faced a dangerous situation on Labor Day morning when they confronted a man who allegedly opened fire on San Pablo Avenue multiple times.

The incident unfolded about 6:30 a.m. in the 12800 block of San Pablo Avenue, when RPD’s ShotSpotter gunshot detection system registered gunshots in the area, police Lt. Felix Tan said.

Officers arrived at the scene within minutes and heard several more gunshots ring around “just around the corner from them,” Tan said.

“The officers ran toward the gunshots and saw the suspect standing in the middle of the street, possibly holding something in his hand,” he said.

That man turned out to be 33-year-old Matthew Wathen of Richmond, who is currently on parole, police said.

Officers detained Wathen without further incident and found a loaded 9mm pistol in his waistband, along with two more loaded magazines in his pants pocket.

“There were also numerous 9mm casings strewn about the immediate area, along with an empty magazine,” Tan said.

Police don’t believe Wathen was targeting anyone.

Wathen was booked for several offenses, and police expressed relief that no one was struck by the bullets.

“We are proud of our officers’ courage under fire and for their ability to maintain composure when faced with such a dangerous and volatile incident,” Tan said.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.