By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney
Earlier this month, defendant Brandon Leo Hilliard of Pittsburg was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in state prison for the shooting of an unarmed man. In May of 2021, a Contra Costa County jury found Hilliard guilty of attempted voluntary manslaughter and assault with a semiautomatic firearm. Additionally, the jury found true the enhancements listed in the charges against Hilliard, including use of a firearm and causing great bodily injury. (See related article)
“The defendant in this case displayed extreme disregard for public safety and another human’s life when he brazenly shot the victim over a minor verbal argument. I want to thank the Pittsburg Police Department for their extensive investigation and locating information which tied the defendant to the scene in order to help make this prosecution successful,” Deputy District Attorney Natasha Mehta stated. DDA Mehta prosecuted the case on behalf of the People.
In the late morning of January 9, 2021, the victim and the defendant got into a verbal confrontation at Central Avenue and Birch Street in Pittsburg. As the argument progressed, the defendant pulled out a Glock 43 semi-automatic handgun. The defendant fired multiple shots at the victim. The shooting, which left the victim with three penetrating gunshot wounds in the legs, was captured on home surveillance. Hilliard immediately fled the scene.
Police officers used surrounding city surveillance cameras to locate a silver vehicle the defendant was seen driving away in from the scene of the shooting. Officers tracked Hilliard’s vehicle, which law enforcement determined to be a silver Toyota Avalon, using an automated license plate reader technology and Pittsburg Police Department determined the vehicle’s license plate number. On January 10, a San Pablo police officer located the defendant and arrested him. The arresting officer found images on Hilliard’s phone which showed the defendant tried to sell a semi-automatic handgun.
The defendant was on an ankle monitor for his pending attempted robbery case. Hilliard cut off his ankle monitor the day before this shooting, leading to an escape count filed against him as well. Hilliard pled to this count prior to the start of trial.
Case information: People v. Brandon Leo Hilliard, Docket Number 04-200980-1.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.