Suspect charged with attempted murder with hate crime enhancement after shooting Black man
Micheal Hayes was arrested for attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon for shooting a Black man while calling him the n-word
Police have arrested a California man who they say shot a Black man seven times while yelling racial epithets at him earlier in October.
Michael Hayes, 31, was charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with a hate crime enhancement on Friday. In California, a hate crime enhancement is a felony conviction that can add up to three extra years on top of any other sentencing.
The man who was shot, Bobby Gayle, is a construction worker who was leaving a site when a big truck came by and almost hit him, his brother Marlon Gayle said.
“According to my brother and the guy who was with him, his friend, the guy gets out of the truck, the white guy, and he has a gun,” Marlon said. “He starts saying the n-word over and over again and started shooting my brother.”
The father-of-five suffered several gunshot wounds to the body and face, but remains in stable condition.
“The terrible actions of one is not a representation of who we are as a community,” said Tori Verber Salazar, the District Attorney who will be overseeing the case. “No one should be victimized because of their race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.”
“It was a miracle. God answers prayer and we’re just so thankful,” said Marlon to ABC 10 about the recovery of his brother after the incident.
According to the police report, Gayle was leaving a construction job at a restaurant on October 8. Around 11:30 pm, Hayes came through a parking lot “driving erratically and speeding,” almost hitting Gayle and his friend.
Gayle “told the driver to slow down,” the report said.
“The defendant then stopped, exited the vehicle, used racial epithets, and shot the victim seven times,” said the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office in a statement. Hayes called Gayle the n-word continuously as he fired his gun.
The father was shot twice in the face, in his neck, shoulder and legs, according to KRCA. One bullet, that is lodged in his head, has to remain because removing it “will do more damage,” Marlon said. None of his major arteries were hit.
After the shooting, Stockton Police Department shared photos of the suspected assailant on Facebook and a reward of up to $10,000 for information about him.
In a follow-up post on Thursday, the police announced that Hayes had been arrested. Eric Jones, the chief of the police force, thanked the “anonymous tipster and the hard work of our detectives for bringing a quick resolution to this case for the victim and his family.”
“He’s just so happy to be alive, and blessed to be with his family and his children,” said Marlon, about his brother. He also told a Sacramento ABC-affiliate, KXTV, that he has no hatred for the shooter.
Hayes remains in police custody and is scheduled to appear in court on October 28 for further arraignment.
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