Vallejo police on Thursday identified a Benicia man, who was well-respected as a psychology doctoral student, as the armed robbery suspect who was pursued and shot dead by officers Wednesday in Richmond.
The chase started around 5 p.m. Wednesday in Vallejo and ended in the 3400 block of Richmond Parkway. Jeffrey Barboa, 45, was killed in the ensuing officer-involved shooting, according to police.
Sgt. Andrew Frankel with the Berkeley Police Department said Barboa interned with the city's Mental Health Crisis team from fall 2013 to summer 2015. At the time, Barboa, a doctoral student of psychology, was "very well thought of" by staff members.
Barboa was wanted in connection with an armed robbery in El Cerrito on July 26, police said. When officers tried to pull him over in Vallejo, he failed to yield and instead fled at a high speed.
When the chase ended about 15 minutes later in Richmond, Barboa exited the car and advanced on officers with a machete raised overhead, police said. He refused numerous orders to drop the weapon before five officers opened fire.
Barboa was struck multiple times and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
No other injuries were reported.
Barboa was wanted in a robbery at an El Cerrito doughnut shop a week ago. Police said he picked up a cash register during lunchtime and ran from All Star Donuts with the cash register under his arm and the shop owners in pursuit.
"He just picked it up like a baby and just snapped it, and he just walked out the door," owner Cameron Sem said. "And customers were yelling, so I ran out. I just ran out with everybody else."
Sem and his dad chased Barboa across the parking lot before Barboa tossed the register into his car and then turned and confronted the two.
"When he turned around, after he dropped the cash register, he just kind of said, 'Oh you want to fight. I've got a gun and a knife.' I was like, 'Is this guy serious?' It's like in the middle of the day," Sem said.
The Sems walked away as did numerous witnesses. But not before they took down his license plate number.
"So we put that information on the license plate in the law enforcement database as a felony vehicle that was wanted," El Cerrito police Lt. Steve Bonini said.
Vallejo police spotted Barboa's vehicle Wednesday evening and tried to pull him over, but Barboa sped off and sparked the high-speed chase to Richmond.
Barboa's neighbors in Benicia said he had a wife and two small children. But on his Facebook page, he describes family problems in April and May and public pleas to help find his family.
"I didn't know he would be violent like that," neighbor Linda Wright said. "I guess his life was just tearing apart."
The shooting is being investigated by the Richmond Police Department and the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office in accordance with the County Fatal Incident Protocol, police said.