OAKLAND -- A man Richmond police once described as one of that city's most dangerous criminal suspects, was shot to death Friday morning moments after leaving an Adams Point federal halfway house where he had been finishing his parole, authorities said.
Police responding to reports of shots fired about 5:42 a.m. found Vincent 'V.I.' Jones, 27, shot alongside an apartment complex in the 400 block of Vernon Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said he had just left a federal halfway house on MacArthur Boulevard on his way to work at a thrift store when he was confronted and shot by a gunman who may have chased him a short distance.
Authorities said Jones had been residing at the halfway house since August after being released from federal prison where he had served a term for a 2006 federal conviction out of Richmond for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Jones had been arrested in October 2005 by Richmond police working with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after a lengthy search.
Police described him then as a leader and enforcer of a violent Richmond gang believed responsible for several killings and nonfatal shootings.
Contra Costa authorities never prosecuted Jones as an adult. Instead, he was prosecuted under federal trigger lock statutes for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Authorities said his prior conviction was for carjacking when he was a juvenile.
There is no motive known yet for Jones' killing, but police did say they cannot rule out his history as being a possibility. No arrests have been made.
The death was Oakland's 105th homicide of the year. Last year at this time there had been 96 homicides in the city.
Oakland Police Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the killer. Anyone with information may call police at 510-238-3821 or a tip line at 510-773-2805. Tips can also be sent anonymously via text message. Text to 888-777 and include the words TipOaklandPD.