Fremont police search for suspects in shootout at illegal pot grow operation

An early-morning shootout between would-be burglars and marijuana growers at a home in Fremont Tuesday left one man injured and police are searching for suspects.

Officers responded to multiple calls from people reporting gunshots in the Irvington neighborhood of Fremont at about 1:40 a.m., police said, including one call from a man who said he heard people yelling, then several gunshots followed by a car speeding away.

When officers arrived, however, they were unable to find evidence of a shooting.

Then, at about 2:15 a.m., an official with a San Leandro hospital called officers to report that a man with a bullet wound to his shoulder that was not considered life-threatening had come into the emergency room.

The victim, a 28-year-old Oakland resident, told officers that he and three other people were at a house on the 42900 block of Fremont Boulevard when two or three masked suspects dressed all in black exchanged gunfire with the occupants as they tried to get into the home.

At least eight shots were fired from two different weapons, police said.

“The shooting happened in the font of the house and the back of the house,” said Fremont police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques. “We believe it was due to the suspects wanting the plants or wanting cash.”

When officers arrived at the home, they found a blood trail on the driveway and what appeared to be a bullet hole in the window of a car parked out front.

They also found a large-scale illegal marijuana grow operation inside, including extensive ventilation and lighting systems and 462 plants in different stages of growth, Bosques said.

Two of the people from the home have been interviewed by police and officers are still looking for the other two.

Nobody from the home has yet been arrested, Bosques said.

She also said that her department had not received complaints about illegal activity or nuisances at the home until today.

Police believe the suspects fled south on Fremont Boulevard toward Auto Mall Parkway.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Fremont police Detective J. Blass at (510) 790-6963.