Feb 11, 2016
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An off-duty Richmond police officer who was fatally shot in a domestic incident at his Vallejo home Thursday morning has been identified as Gus Vegas, a respected and well-loved 15-year veteran of the department.

Police responded to reports of shots fired in a home on Narragansett Court in the Glen Cove neighborhood at 4:39 p.m., Vallejo police spokesperson Jeff Bassett said. When they arrived, they found Vegas shot multiple times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Family members who were present identified the shooter as Robert Vega, 30, of Fairfield, who is the father of Vegas’ 6-year-old grandson. They said Vega fled the scene with the 6-year-old. Fairfield police were notified, and Vega was arrested in their city while he was inside a vehicle with the child. The child was unharmed and Vega was arrested without incident.

Police have not said what led to the shooting due to an ongoing investigation.

Members of the Richmond Police Department are taking Vegas’ death hard. The flag at RPD headquarters is flying at half-staff in honor of the fallen officer and detective.

Vegas was described as a fun-loving guy who always smiled and loved working with youth, including foster children.

Richmond police Lt. Felix Tan said Vegas had 10 children, 20 grandchildren and was involved in the Vallejo nonprofit Foster Greatness. Vegas was a foster parent as well.

“We are stunned,” Interim Police Chief Allynn Brown said at an 11 a.m. conference in Vallejo City Council Chambers. “We are saddened. We’re still working to process it. Gus was very likable, always pleasant, always in a good mood. He really related to other people in a natural way. Never saw him be in a bad mood. This is a huge blow for us. A tough loss. We will do everything we can to support the Vallejo PD as they move forward with this investigation…and of course [Vegas’] family.”

During his career, Vegas worked assignments including property crimes, homicide and as a patrol officer, Brown said. At the time of his death, he was working in the regulatory unit.

“He was really engaging, really interactive in the community and with young people,” Brown added.

Richmond police staff have been with Vegas’ family all morning.

Mayor Tom Butt and his staff have also expressed sadness about the incident.

“The senseless killing of this respected officer early this morning has left us deeply saddened and our heartfelt condolences go out to the family,” he said in a statement. “I want to especially extend sympathies to the members of the Richmond Police Department who are grieving the loss of a kind, valued and respected officer….May the officer rest in peace and we are committed to seeking justice for this tragic loss of life.”

Bay City News contributed to this report


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.