By Chris De Benedetti Contra Costa Times
NEWARK, N.J. — Police have arrested a man in connection with the shooting of a off-duty federal agent after a confrontation outside his home Tuesday morning, police said.
The 61-year-old U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent, who lives in 7700 block of Mayhews Landing Road near Bettencourt Street, was shot about 5:50 a.m., said police Cmdr. Robert Douglas.
The victim, whose name was not released, was taken by ambulance to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, Douglas said. Police did not provide information about his condition and his family has requested his medical condition not be made public.
Dennis Bagwell, 61, of Piedmont, was arrested after a traffic stop in Union City Tuesday afternoon, Douglas said. The suspect has no criminal history, police said.
Police did not release information regarding a motive or the suspect’s relation to the victim.
"Based on information gathered at the scene, as well as physical evidence, a suspect was developed which led to the arrest," Douglas said.
After the shooting, several neighbors huddled in the rain behind yellow police tape that blocked all traffic on Mayhews Landing Road between Buckeye and Spruce streets. Several police vehicles were parked in front of the single-story house, as investigators worked underneath white tents installed in the driveway to protect evidence — which included a police baton, a pair of handcuffs and an empty holster — from the rain.
One neighbor, who asked not to be named, said she first heard people arguing outside, including one man who yelled, "Get down on the ground."
She looked outside her home and saw a man fire a gun, then walk to a nearby car. Another neighbor who declined to give his name said he heard six shots fired, then saw the victim lying in his driveway with blood on his shirt. Newark police arrived at the scene and talked to the victim before he was transported to the hospital, the neighbor said.
It was the neighborhood’s third violent incident in the past half-year, said Kenneth Hudson, a 17-year-old student at Bridgepoint High School. Six months ago, someone fired a shotgun into a garage two blocks from Tuesday’s incident, and a stabbing occurred three months ago on nearby Indian Wells Drive, Hudson said.
"It’s the most violent crime I’ve experienced in my life," he said.
Jason McMahan, who has lived in the neighborhood for six years, said the area has been a quiet, pleasant place to live until this year, noting the recent violence and a dramatic collision last month at Cherry Street and Mowry Avenue by burglary suspects fleeing a crime. An innocent bystander and one of the suspects were killed in the crash.
Anyone with information about the incident can call Sgt. Mike Carroll at 510-578-4247 or leave anonymous tips on the "silent witness" hot line at 510-678-4000, ext. 500.
Staff writers Mark Gomez and Rob Dennis and staff photographer Anda Chu contributed to this report.
Copyright 2012 Contra Costa Newspapers
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