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Four men indicted in 2022 gun battle at East Palo Alto park

1 man died, 3 were injured, in shootout that traumatized families at busy Jack Farrell Park
A shooting in East Palo Alto's Jack Farrell Park left one person dead and three others injured on the evening of May 17, 2022.

The San Mateo County Criminal Grand Jury has indicted four men in connection with a gunfight at East Palo Alto's Jack Farrell Park in May 2022, which resulted in one man's death and injuries to three other people, East Palo Alto police Chief Jeff Liu said in a statement on Aug. 9.

Miguel Bracamontes, 21, Luis Mariscal, 38, both of East Palo Alto, Bobby Williams, 49, of San Francisco and Michael Tyrone Darrell McNack, 20, of Union City were indicted on Aug. 4 for numerous charges and enhancements including but not limited to assault with a deadly weapon (firearm) and discharge of a firearm with gross negligence.

"The evidence in the case does not establish who was acting in self defense and who was not, therefore, (there's) no charge of murder," Liu said in a follow-up text message.

Witness statements obtained through investigations, grand jury proceedings and forensic evidence identified the men as the four individuals who participated in the gunfight between two groups at Jack Farrell Park on May 17, 2022. There were three volleys of gunfire totaling 33 shots, Liu said at the time.

A 34-year-old East Palo Alto resident, Ralph Fields Jr., was killed and three adult men survived their shooting injuries. Fields was struck in the chest but was breathing when an officer arrived and applied pressure to his wound. However, Fields died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, police said. Fields was a relative of Las Vegas Raiders' wide receiver Davante Adams, who grew up in East Palo Alto.

The park, located in the 2500 block of Fordham Street, was full of children and families, who ran for cover.

"Numerous children were traumatized by being forced to experience the gunfight in a public park while the children were playing," Liu said.

The shooting prompted residents to ask the city to install security cameras at the park. Mothers Against Murder, a local nonprofit organization, offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the alleged murderer. The city partnered with agencies to provide trauma services to residents, as did the Ravenswood City School District.

East Palo Alto police, city officials and faith leaders pleaded with the community to come forward with information about the shooting.

Police a week later arrested two peoplein connection with the shooting on outstanding warrants, but their names weren't released pending further investigation.

Bracamontes, Mariscal and Williams were in jail for separate charges at the time of the indictment. McNack was arrested at his Union City home by the United States Marshal Service on Aug. 8. He was turned over to East Palo Alto Police detectives, who booked him into the San Mateo County Jail, Liu said.

"The East Palo Alto Police Department and the East Palo Alto community extend our gratitude to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, Atherton Police Department and United States Marshal Service for their vital partnership and tireless work on this investigation.

"Additionally, we would like to thank our very own East Palo Alto Police personnel for their unwavering dedication to completing this investigation amid their already extensive caseloads and their mission to hold every gunman accountable for their decision to fire guns in a park full of kids," Liu said.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the East Palo Alto Police Department at 650-853-3160 or by sending an anonymous email to epa@tipnow.orgor an anonymous text or voicemail to 650-409-6792.


About the Author: Sue Dremann

Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats.
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