Team Lead Becomes Hero During Richmond Shooting
It was a Tuesday morning on March 16th when Ricardo Allen and his team came to perform a reset for AMPM in Richmond, CA just like they did any other day. Little did he know, however, that this particular day would prove to be one he and his merchandising team would never forget.
At 9AM, just two hours after they arrived, Team Lead, Ricardo, and merchandisers, Amy Aguirre, and Julie Alvarez were inside the store at the beverage cooler working on a reset. Their other team member, Arlene Cal, headed to the Budget truck parked outside the store to get supplies.
Shortly after, 48 bullets would go flying. “I heard a loud bang! I knew it was a gun shot. Next thing, I just looked at the girls and they looked like they didn’t know what it was. There were tons of them. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom! I just grabbed them and told them to get down. The only thing I could think of was to lay on top of them,” Ricardo said.
Ricardo is not a little guy. In fact, he played professional basketball overseas back in the day, so his arm span is massive due to his height. He didn’t think twice about using his body to protect them. “Ricardo without hesitation told us all to get down and he laid on top of Julie and myself to shield us. He put our lives first before his own,” said merchandiser Amy Aguirre.
“I looked up to see if the windows were broken, if the shots were coming into the store, but there was nothing. It didn’t seem like anyone was a threat in the store and that’s when I realized one of us was missing. Arlene was out there, but there was nothing we could do, but just wait and wait. I didn’t hear anything at one point and got up immediately, ducked down, went towards the door, and told the girls to stay down. The owners of the store just ran and jumped over the girls and locked themselves in the office without even asking us if we were ok. I thought, ‘What Chumps!’
I went outside and saw a young lady. I got nervous because she pointed to the truck. Then I saw Arlene coming out and asked if she was ok.”
Arlene told Ricardo she was ok, then Ricardo saw the young 21-year-old man who was targeted lying next to it.
“Arlene called me and said she went to the him first since she was a medical worker, however, he was already gone by the time she got to him,” said Tyler Brittain, Director of Operations.
Ricardo stated, “I called 911 and we were waiting for the ambulance. Then I saw a random cop, jumped in front of the truck to stop him to tell him what was going on.”
The team stayed inside the store as the police and ambulance arrived. Ricardo gave them waters and helped them calm down after the tragic incident.
“While it was happening, I was just praying no one would get hurt,” Ricardo said.
The team waited a long time for the police to investigate, however, when Ricardo was finally able to get back to the truck, he realized his binder, used to hold all the schematics, had a hole in it from a stray bullet. It was determined that the target was running straight towards the box truck Arlene was hiding in. Her quick thinking to lay down inside the truck saved her life that day.
“I just thought these girls have kids and I don’t, so I laid on top of them. I kept saying ‘Trust me, I got you.’ I thought if this was my family what would I do?,” Ricardo said.
There is no doubt that this team considers themselves family now after what they went through together. It is said that times of great tragedy can bring out the best in the human spirit, and it certainly holds true when you think about Ricardo Allen’s actions that day. His extraordinary courage, valor, and compassion to protect his team has not gone unnoticed by our company.
Ricardo, we want to thank you for being a true hero and role model!