Police ID victim in Suisun City shooting

By June 30, 2011

SUISUN CITY — Suisun City police identified the victim in Wednesday morning’s police shooting near the Suisun Senior Center as Bernardo Ararao, 55, of Suisun City.

A Suisun City police officer fatally shot Ararao once in the chest after Ararao failed to comply to the officer’s orders to drop his gun and get down on the ground, according to police. According to a press release, only one officer fired a shot.

The shooting happened after police got a call from the Suisun Senior Center shortly before 11:30 a.m. stating that Ararao had shown a woman there a gun and told her he was “going on assignment.”

Police spotted Ararao across the street in a parking lot and confronted him. The investigation is ongoing and is being conducted by the Police Department and the Solano County District Attorney’s Office.

According to Solano County court records, Ararao has had several run-ins with Fairfield and Suisun City police, and the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, between 2003 and 2008. All of the cases filed — six misdemeanors and one felony — were dismissed.

The charges resulted in Ararao being jailed for several months at a time and repeatedly being deemed mentally incompetent and unable to aid in his own defense. In 2008, he was sent to a state mental facility where he spent a year before being deemed stable.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected]

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.

Discussion | 39 comments

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  • S KJune 30, 2011 - 12:17 pm

    Good riddance. Again, I salute our guys in blue!!!

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  • EricJune 30, 2011 - 8:48 pm

    you obviously do not know what you are talking about. Because if you did then you would not have said that

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  • BradJune 30, 2011 - 1:58 pm

    yesterday was a very sad day for our city. prayers to everyone involved, and thank you to our boys in blue.

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  • CD BrooksJune 30, 2011 - 2:24 pm

    And I thought Dodge City was in Kansas! Congrats Fairfield/Suisun, Vallejo, Oakland and Richmond. Our local newspapers all read the same murder, drive-by shootings, home invasion robberies, carjacking, gang violence and fatal accidents. Really? Maybe more of these bad guys taking a trip to the morgue will send a message. If you're a criminal would you please leave this community? Thank you.

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  • FairfielderJune 30, 2011 - 2:58 pm

    CD, I can't help but think of "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" as the new theme song for Fairfield/Suisun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQGGQ-FCe_w&feature=related .

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  • EricJune 30, 2011 - 8:50 pm

    this man was harmeless. he was a retired navy vet who served his country. he was a father and grandfather with people who loved him. he definately was not a bad guy so think before you speak

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  • FF64June 30, 2011 - 2:40 pm

    The "Victim" here are the citizens of Fairfield-Suisun and the State of CA. Between His ten to twelve separate incarcerations and subsequent substance abuse/mental health treatment, we probably dropped a cool $250k on this clown. I almost had to shoot him once myself when he brandished a kbar knife at a guy he was drinking and arguing with! Now he's "Rehabilitated!" Bon Voyage!

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  • publiusJune 30, 2011 - 4:46 pm

    I hope everyone who reads your comment is repulsed and on guard that you are a police officer. You apparently have no respect for the life of a retired Navy veteran and a man who his entire life had never been found guilty of a crime.This was a tradgedy. Its a shame that you don't realize it. Get your head examined.

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  • FF64July 02, 2011 - 12:15 am

    Lee Harvey Oswald was a veteran too! Mr. Ararao's prior military service did not give him license to the repeated pattern of disorderly conduct as well as at least two violent felony crimes that I am personally aware of. As for him "never being convicted" I guess pleading "No contest" in exchange for alcohol rehab, inpatient mental health treatment, and outpatient treatment as well doesn't count? The truth is ugly. He continued to abuse alcohol and other drugs and as he aged his mental health deteriorated even more. When the tox returns from his autopsy, I'm betting on a blood alcohol content in the .15-.22 range with other drugs on board. My question for his family is, "Where were you while he was doing this? Why didn't you do more to help him? Why not take him in and try to keep him on his medications. Why not try to place him under a conservatorship? You called this a tragedy. Perhaps for those who knew him. I keep thinking about a demented drunk waiving a loaded handgun around inside a senior citizens assisted living center. Had he killed someone, YOU would be saying, Where were the Police? Why didn't they stop this? YOU want to assign blame where it doesn't belong. If you actually knew this man, look in the mirror and answer the question. Why didn't YOU do more to help this man avoid his substance abuse and mental health problems? Government budgets are in shambles and 36,000 felons are about to be freed from California prisons to save money. Every day at work I read 3-5 teletypes announcing that another parolee has removed his ankle monitor and is in the wind. Did you know there are over 700 parolees in Fairfield and currently over 170 registered sex offenders? Get your own head examined, or better yet put your game boy away and see the real world! If you don't like it, do something about it besides pissy whining and accusations of others without the facts.

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  • FF69July 04, 2011 - 12:18 am

    agreed; FF/suisun cops are out of line. they dont care about serving their tax paying citizens instead they harass us and the publics general opinion of them is rather negative. They dont give a damn about service to country because none of them are vets or prior service. what we're dealing with here are uneducated, inexperienced law enforcement officers which are over paid and full of some sense of self-entitlement with huge chips on their shoulders? who knows why??eye witness reports i've read never mentioned a weapon was pointed towards any officer or individual. even with him just standing there it took 7-8 shots from only 20 feet away to hit him? this incident should not have ended this way. nore should ff officers be making light of it on a local forum, its own city newspaper none the less?

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  • CD BrooksJune 30, 2011 - 3:02 pm

    Fairfielder/FF64, sad but true you are both right.

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  • gary galeJune 30, 2011 - 3:48 pm

    According to the article and I quote: "In 2008, he was sent to a state mental facility where he spent a year before being deemed stable." Well, he's finally stable, at last.

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  • flipsideJune 30, 2011 - 4:00 pm

    lets not forget bernardo was also an m.p. in the navy where he served some 25 + yrs, as far as i know his discharge was honorable.

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  • The SugarJarJune 30, 2011 - 4:01 pm

    I feel for his family. I can't blame the police for shooting someone brandishing a weapon. But it really is a shame that we don't have a better system to deal with mental illness. Dealing with mentally ill folks, unfortunately, isn't funded--and the police (and the courts) end up with the problem if it is too much for the mentally ill person (family, friends, etc.) to handle. I have loved one(s) myself that have been in pretty bad shape. With the wrong combination of circumstances, something similar could occur. This man's death is a crying shame on many levels. But when its cause is mental illness, where exactly can you honestly place the fault?

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  • Unbelievable!June 30, 2011 - 7:14 pm

    Very sad. This guy seemed harmless and was known for years with merchants and riding his bike and talking to people. He may have had a loaded guy BUT! Did he point it to the Cops? I think the cops Over reacted on this one. There better be a big fat investigation on this one and the ones investigating should be from out of town!

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  • Me AgainJune 30, 2011 - 7:57 pm

    "Harmless" Sure he was, that's why he had a loaded gun and refused to follow the orders of police when they told him to drop the weapon. You sure have a ignorant understanding of the word harmless. I am thankful the police did not let this nut harm anyone at the post office. No one is ever happy that someone is shot, but in this case the guy had all the choices and chances to bring the situation to a peaceful ending.

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  • S KJune 30, 2011 - 7:23 pm

    publius>>It is liberals like you that want to baby scum like that, that makes it possible for the criminal element to get away with as much crap as they do. You're obviously in the wrong community. The People's Republic of Berkeley is due West.

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  • EricJune 30, 2011 - 8:38 pm

    Scum?? are you serious? did you even know the man? Obviously not! he was my sister in-law's father. Grandfather to my nieces and nephew. he was a kind man i promise you. Dont judge someone when you dont even know them. Im waiting for my post/comment to be approved. read that and you'll find out the truth

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  • publiusJune 30, 2011 - 9:06 pm

    You are the scumbag. You are a mentally ill authoritarian who prizes bages over truth and a human life. I'm not a liberal. I just don't have a fetish for men wearing badges like you do. You are in the wrong community. Try North Korea; they have no respect for life or individual rights either. You would love it until they came for you.

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  • streetJune 30, 2011 - 7:36 pm

    The whole thing is sad, but waiting for someone to point a gun at you before you take action means the officer or some innocent bystander is at great risk of being shot. Remember, it is not the man that will kill you, but the gun. Sane, insane, young or old, anybody with a loaded gun can kill you. It may not be fair, but is real life. To expect anything else is naïve.

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  • kimberlyJune 30, 2011 - 7:57 pm

    if you have a gun "A LOADED GUN" then be prepared for what may come, these police officers did what they are trained for PROTECTING THE PUBLIC, they obviously shot the man because they felt there were no other options, Hello people they felt their lives and the lives of the public were in danger, of course it's sad a life was lost but i can asure you the police did not shoot and kill a man for no reason at all!! it is time for everyone to realize that these officers are our protectors and not the enemies, and b4 you say again they were wrong or they could have done something else remember who your going to call when you are introuble scared and in need of help 911, what they are only good when you need their assistance? i want to thank the suisun police department for making my home town safe for all of us!! good job done :)

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  • EricJune 30, 2011 - 8:34 pm

    This man was a good man. He was harmless. Those who praise his death are evil. You obviously dont know him so you should not speak of him with disrespect. It is EXTREMELY disrespectful to his friends and family. He was a grandfather to my nephew and nieces. he was my sister in-law's father. If you think the PD helped prevent something from badly happening you are sorely mistaken. he was a kind and funny man. He always traveled around town with his LEGAL RIGHT to bear arms. can you blame him with all the crime young and old ignorant people commit these days? All the killings and robberies that occur in our town makes perfect sense why anyone would bear arms. He had his little dog (best friend) stolen from him 2 weeks ago which he had been searching high and low for. He ALWAYS wore his camouflage pants because he did not have much. I GUARANTEE you he would not have caused any harm. He worked most of his life which he had financially invested into his SSI and disability( in regards to the guy who says WE spent 250k on his mental illness). He had been harrassed by the PD multiple times when he just minded his own buisiness riding his bike. Once again they harrassed him because an old lady not knowing who he was had seen a gun in his possesion and panicked. He was a good man I promise you this. There definately was no need to fire upon him 5 times and kill him. He had 3 kids and 4 grandchildren who loved him and are in tears today. So to those who applaud this I say SHAME on YOU!!! You have NO clue!! Read your constitutional rights. it is technically not against the law to bear arms. We as a people fight and preach to have our rights yet when we try to embrace it people turn their heads like the elder lady did that day. I dont blame her but i do blame the suisun city PD. What they did was WRONG. They knew who this man was and his condition. Their actions were totally unneccesary. The last time i was with him was during the Pacquiao fight. He gave me a few good laughs. We're gonna miss him. R.I.P

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  • ChrisJuly 01, 2011 - 12:03 pm

    I feel for your family Eric and have sympathy for you, but it is ILLEGAL to carry any such firearm on Goverment Property. He was at the Post Office (Goverment Property), and If he did allways carry a weapon, he should have been educated on the laws of carrying a fire arm, especially knowing where he can and can not have a firearm. If he was ignorant of these laws, then he should not have a weapon period.

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  • S KJune 30, 2011 - 8:50 pm

    Eric>>You may have known him as a kind man. But IMO Kind PPL do not go around in Fatigues, with a gun (Not sure if it in fact was loaded), go into a senior center with a bunch of vulnerable elderly citizens, and proclaim, that he is on a mission, or whatever the heck he proclaimed. No, kind men do not do those things, unless he snapped for whatever reason. I stand by all my previous statements. I salute our men in Blue for doing what NEEDED to be DONE!!!! Thank goodness that no one else was injured or killed.

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  • EricJune 30, 2011 - 9:02 pm

    S k> he ALWAYS and i mean ALWAYS wore his fatigues. He did not have much. he said they are comfortable and he is proud he had served his country for over 25yrs so he likes to brag. He always carried his gun every single day for the fact that kids and teenagers have tried to rob him in the past. Plus all the other news you hear and read about. Do you know your amendments and constitutional rights to bear arms? Carrying a firearm is not illegal yet we judge it as if it is. He WAS a kind man. he was my sister in-laws father. he was a grandfather to my niece and nephews who all cried when they heard what happened to their papa. The "Mission" that he was on which has been his mission for the past 2 week was to find his little dog which he took with him everywhere he went. he was really sad when he lost him and so he rode his bike all around looking for him. he did not go into the senior homes making threats trying to scare people. It was just a woman who happened to see his gun and panicked. They think they prevented something bad from happening but they are wrong. THEY are the ones who made something bad happen by killing. This was a mistake by the police and the community has him misunderstood.

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  • publiusJune 30, 2011 - 9:23 pm

    Eric, a heartrendering portrayal of a fellow citizen who police are supposed to serve and protect. Your words are wasted on the likes of SK . He has a form a mental illness that exhaults authority instead of humanity. SK mistakenly thinks he better than Bernard. The fact is SK has no real humanity. Sorry for your family's loss Eric.

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  • EricJune 30, 2011 - 9:31 pm

    Publius- I thank you for your condolonses. I think SK just has the whole issue misunderstood and does not know all the facts. Same goes for a few others on here. I cant believe the things they had posted. Soooo disrespectful it makes my stomach turn

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  • ChrisJuly 01, 2011 - 12:05 pm

    It is absolutely ILLEGAL to carry a firearm on any Goverment Property, Hence the Post Office.

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  • flipsideJune 30, 2011 - 9:48 pm

    bernardo ararao was retired military police in the navy.

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  • kimberlyJune 30, 2011 - 10:01 pm

    ok call me dumb or nieve i have lived here in suisun for many many years and i do not carry a gun nor do i see people all around with visible guns, i would be a little afraid if i was in a home for the elderly and i saw a man with a gun im pretty sure i would freak, i have been all around up and down suisun streets i have never been jumped or robbed by teenagers and felt i had to carry a gun... question.. do i have a right to pull my gun out and shoot a person because he may or may not rob me out in the open? im not even sure we can carry loaded guns walking up and down the street? well we may aswell all go move into the zoo and live like the animals if we are legally able to act like them, because if you ask me carrying loaded guns walking around town is acting like an animal!

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  • EricJune 30, 2011 - 10:54 pm

    Just because something has not happened to you does not mean it does not happen to others. People are robbed, raped, and killed everyday. Thankfully you and I have not been victims of those crimes. My sympathy to those who are. If a woman were raped and therefore traumatized how do you think she may handle herself in the future? do you think it would change her? Would she take pre-cautions from here on out? Maybe carry a knife, a can of mace, or even a gun for protection. She may not trust in men for a long time. Well any victim of crime may feel the same. depends on the person. Google the 2nd ammendment and you will see it states the people have a right to bear arms without be infringed. Til this day even retired police officers carry their handgun either on them or in their car. its because all their career/life they had carried it. Same goes for Bernard/my brothers father in-law. he spent 25yrs as an MP (Military Police) in the NAVY. he had his firearm with him all the time. Everday since his retirement he had carried his gun and everyday has never used it, threatened anyone with it, or attacked anyone with it. Same goes for 6/29/2011. he had no intentions on using it. people think that all of a sudden after many many years of carrying his weapon that he was going to go on some kind of wild terrorist act? Come on. get real. he was a patriot and loved his country. His mission was to find his dog which he loved and missed dearly. People should feel sad for him not grateful for what happened. You have him misconstrued to the fullest that it is ridiculous. However, I do not blame you for the fact that if I only heard the story for how it was presented and read it for how it was printed then I would feel the same and judge him as you do. I would not be typing this and sticking up for him if i did not feel it was the right thing to do. Bernardo was a patriot and loved his country. His body has already been slained and the least I can do is help his name from being slained as well. That is why I am here typing all this. to share the truth to you and all that will hear it. You read what was in the paper. Now try listening to someone who actually knew the man.

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  • Me AgainJuly 01, 2011 - 12:20 pm

    @Eric - "" he had no intentions on using it."" Oh bother. Now you know what others are thinking and what their intentions are? IMPOSSIBLE Clearly you were friends with this man. I can understand you wishing things were different. I believe most everyone wishes a different outcome could have been had. However, Bernardo was given multiple chances to put the weapon down. The safety of citizens was at risk. SSPD did what they had to do to protect themselves and the lives of others. Sad, but a FACT.

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  • S KJuly 01, 2011 - 7:36 am

    Eric>>>Sory guy. I may have been a bit too harsh referring to him as a scum bag, since I did not know him. And yes I do know that as citizens we all have 2nd amendment rights. BUT did he follow the law?? Did he have a permit to carry a concealed weapon?? I doubt it since I read about all the problems/issues that he had had with the law previously/apparent mental issues. Was the gun loaded?? This is no longer the wild west, and admitted, even I am ignorant on whether or not one can openly carry a weapon (Holstered/wherever). So I am sorry for your and your families loss. But I still do not believe that the SPD over reached. They just did their jobs that they deemed necessary. As to publius, Liberal nitwits like him, have caused many of the problems we have with REAL perps getting their way against law abiding citizens.

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  • S KJuly 01, 2011 - 8:36 am

    P.S. I can spell>>>SORRY>>Just can't type :-)

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  • CD BrooksJuly 01, 2011 - 8:39 am

    S K, Happy Birthday Buddy! :)

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  • S KJuly 01, 2011 - 9:26 am

    Thank-you CD. Next stop, 1st Social Sec Payment in Aug :-)

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  • Anna M.July 03, 2011 - 10:36 pm

    I was an aquianance of Bernardo. Did volunteer work with SCPD when he was on and then they let him go. I feel he had post traumatic syndrome but! That does not make him guilty. I knew he already wore camo jackets...Always! And he liked to talk with the merchants. I may not always understand what he had to say...but! Bernardo to me was Harmless, Friendly and Kind. I am SO Saddened by this and would expect a detailed Investigation!!! To those that didn't know him...Keep in mind...He was a Vet, and always wore his camo jacket and rode his bike and knew a lot of people and visited with the merchants. "Eternal rest grant unto Bernardo Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him- May he rest in peace .... AMEN"

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  • Anna M.July 04, 2011 - 12:56 pm

    Eric! Thanks for putting rumors to rest by telling us that Bernardo was in fact an MP in the US Navy for 25years. I had heard this, but some said wasn't true. I'm very sorry for yours and your family's loss and the pain they are enduring. This is very unfortunate for everyone. Is there going to be a funeral?

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  • cherylararaoJuly 11, 2011 - 5:59 pm

    Grandpa Bernie will be missed :(

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