State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata said today he was "stunned" to learn that the prime suspects in his December carjacking are those already under arrest for a January shooting that left a 10-year-old Oakland boy paralyzed.
"I thought at the time I was lucky and now I know I was," said Perata, D-Oakland. "If you believe in fate or whatever, the only difference between what happened to the Rodriguez boy and what happened to me is unaccountable."
Authorities said Tuesday that Jared Adams' fingerprints were found in the 2006 red Dodge Charger taken from Perata at gunpoint Dec. 29 near 51st Street and Shattuck Avenue, and that Adams, 24, has made admissions to investigators. Named as Adams' suspected accomplice in the carjacking is his friend Ryan McGough, 24, of Oakland, who was arrested last Thursday in San Francisco. And Adams' girlfriend, Maeve McCallon Clifford, also has been implicated in the carjacking by authorities, who said the two men drove the Charger to her East Oakland home after taking it. No charges have been filed in the carjacking yet.
Adams and Clifford already are charged in connection with the Jan. 10 robbery-shooting that left Christopher Rodriguez, now 11, paralyzed from the waist down. The Crocker Highlands Elementary School fifth-grader was taking a piano lesson at Harmony Music School at Piedmont Avenue and Pleasant Valley Road when a bullet pierced the building's wall, tore through a piano and hit him, damaging his spleen and kidney and severing his spine, doctors said.
Police say Adams fired a gun while robbing a gas station across the street from the music school. Adams and Clifford were arrested shortly afterward, following a car chase that ended in a wreck. Adams faces charges including attempted murder and robbery; Clifford is charged in the shooting as well.
A week after the boy was shot, his parents joined Perata at the shooting scene as the lawmaker announced his partnership with the Alameda County Public Health Agency and faith community leaders to conduct a gun buyback event. Perata said he hasn't spoken with the couple since learning Tuesday night that their cases might be linked; his offer to help them stands, he said, but "they need to put their life back together and being left alone is probably the best thing that could happen."
As for himself, he said he doesn't feel much better or safer knowing those who carjacked him might already be behind bars.
"I haven't really thought about it as a reoccurring event in my life," he said. "But I'm sure that when I see my grandkids this weekend, I'll squeeze them a little tighter."