Fremont student, educators struck in gel pellet gun attack

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

FREMONT, Calif. – Josh Hawkins thought his final days as a senior at Kennedy High School in Fremont would be filled with good memories. Instead, he’s haunted by what happened just off-campus on Wednesday afternoon.

“I got shot. And then my teacher got shot. And then one of our paras (paraprofessional educator) got shot,” said Hawkins.

He still bears marks on his right arm and elbow from what police said was a gel pellet gun attack.

Hawkins, a student with special needs, was with his teacher, a para educator, and a classmate, who also has special needs when the crime took place around noon.

The group had just finished lunch at Papa Nacho’s Taquería in the Sundale Shopping Center. They were walking back to campus along Stevenson Boulevard near Blacow Road.

“Excuse me, but it scared the crap out of me,” said Steve Dotson, Josh’s father, as his voice trembled with emotion. “Matthew, his buddy, was so shaken up he couldn’t go back to school. He went home. Josh stuck it out. But it scared the hell out of us.”

The Fremont Unified School District confirmed the group was hit by projectiles from a gel gun and is investigating the incident.

“Our immediate reaction is to focus on the response. And focus on student safety and staff safety. Certainly an issue of concern. We have a wonderful school district and a wonderful community here in Fremont, and these incidents are not typical,” said Superintendent CJ Cammack.

Fremont police are also investigating and said in an email the gel beads were fired from a vehicle traveling northbound on Blacow Road.

Other than bruising, no serious injuries were reported.

“If I moved my arm, I would have gotten hit right in the side. Glad I had my arm down,” said Hawkins.

His dad said if caught, the guilty party needs to face serious consequences.

“Kids need to have more discipline these days. They don’t have it,” said Dotson, his anger becoming more visible as he recounted the incident. “There’s got to be some common sense taught to these kids. And discipline.”

Investigators have not described the vehicle involved in this incident.

Police urge anyone with information to call them at (510) 790-6800.

Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station’s South Bay bureau. Follow him on Instagram, @jessegontv.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.

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