Surveillance video of a Fremont home invasion helped authorities solve a violent and far-reaching crime spree across the East Bay, according to officials with a Bay Area task force.
After recognizing some of the suspects as members of a Richmond gang, agents and officers began connecting them to several other crimes across 12 East Bay cities.
On Wednesday, after an 18-month operation, seven suspects were behind bars, and one suspect remains at large, officials said.
"Their violence marks some of the most egregious criminal acts we've seen in the Bay Area for quite some time," said Bert Ferries of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "At least eight individuals, dangerous, deadly, gun-toting gang members we have taken out of the equation, and that's a good thing."
Investigators say members of the Swerve Team gang are responsible for more than two dozen crimes, including the shooting of an Orinda school board member and the killing of 26-year-old Melvin James of Richmond, who was shot 18 times in front of his 85-year-old grandmother.
Ida Attaway said her grandson had just helped her carry groceries into the house when he was gunnned down in their front yard last August. She held him as he took his last breath.
"I really miss my grandson," Attaway said. "I raised his head and told him how much I loved him, and he closed his eyes, and I knew he was gone."