Suspect in shooting of ex-Cal Poly football player is arrested

mfountain@thetribunenews.comFebruary 26, 2014 

  • Location of shooting

    Approximate location of the 400 block of Buena Vista Avenue in San Luis Obispo, where a man was shot Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013.

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A suspect has been apprehended and is in custody at the San Luis Obispo County Jail facing charges related to his alleged involvement in the November shooting of a former Cal Poly student football coach.

Brian Thomas Gonzales, 22, of Castro Valley was arrested by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office on Friday in Hayward after a warrant was issued for his arrest in San Luis Obispo County on Jan. 28.

According to San Luis Obispo police Lt. John Bledsoe, investigators have been in communication with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office since identifying Gonzales as a suspect.

Gonzales is not believed to have shot then-Cal Poly senior Geoffrey Hyde, 22, of Yorba Linda, but he was one of two suspects involved in what police say was a prescription drug deal gone wrong.

Bledsoe said the Police Department has yet to identify the gunman in the case but are following up on a number of leads.

On Jan. 28, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office filed four felony charges against Gonzales: burglary, possession for sale of a controlled substance, conspiracy to sell narcotics and being an accessory after the fact.

The shooting occurred the night of Nov. 21 at a residence on the 400 block of Buena Vista Avenue just south of the Cal Poly campus. According to the Police Department, two men entered the house and an altercation ensued between Hyde and one of the men. The assailant pulled out a handgun and shot Hyde in the back before fleeing, police said. Hyde was taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery to remove the bullet from his abdomen.

According to an affidavit attached to Gonzales’ warrant, he was identified by two guests at the residence as “Pooh Bear” and had entered the residence around 7:30 p.m. with a man believed to be the shooter.

According to a statement given to officers by Hyde, the two men were friends of Hyde’s roommate, who was not at the residence at the time of the shooting and later cooperated with investigators.

Hyde allegedly told officers that he did not know the gunman but did know “Pooh Bear,” and later told investigators the men were there for the “prescription.” In Hyde’s bedroom that night, officers allegedly discovered numerous pills packaged in strips of 20. The pills were later determined to be the anti-anxiety medication alprazolam, known by the brand name Xanax, which has a high risk of abuse, according to police. In addition, officers allegedly discovered small, empty plastic packaging envelopes and tin foil with burn marks, consistent with paraphernalia used to smoke pills.

No charges have been filed against Hyde, but Bledsoe said the investigation is ongoing.

Gonzales is being held on $100,000 bail and is awaiting arraignment, which has yet to be scheduled.

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