Suspect charged in ‘assassination attempt’ on four men in Visitacion Valley

A 20-year-old man is facing attempted murder charges after authorities identified him as one of three shooters who coordinated an “assassination attempt” on a group of men getting haircuts inside a garage in Visitacion Valley, court records show.

Larry Barefield was arrested last Tuesday when police served a search warrant in San Pablo. He was connected to the shooting on the afternoon of Oct. 16, 2020 at a home near Tioga and Wilde avenues through DNA evidence, according to police and the District Attorney’s Office.

The four victims were getting haircuts at a makeshift barbershop when the gunmen got out of a car and sneaked up to the garage, unloading a “large volley of shots” that struck two of the men, Assistant District Attorney Ryan Kao said in court records.

Barefield “drove to the scene armed with a pistol fitted with a drum magazine, took care to conceal himself as he snuck up on his victims, and fired a high volume of shots,” Kao wrote. “This type of assassination attempt reflects a high degree of malice and disregard for the value of human life.”

Barefield was arrested after police swabbed a pole that one of the gunmen is believed to have grabbed while retreating from the scene, Kao said. The swab turned up DNA evidence that tied him to the scene. Police also recovered “distinctive green shoes” while serving a warrant on Barefield that the gunmen who grabbed the pole was seen wearing.

Barefield is now facing 14 charges including four counts of attempted murder and four counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm, court records show. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

Barefield has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court April 15. He is being held at County Jail without the option of bail at the request of the District Attorney’s Office.

The shooting injured a 36-year-old man and an 18-year-old man, according to police. Court records show one of the men was shot multiple times, while the other was struck in the arm.

Both the victims and the suspects had left the scene by the time officers responded to a report of the shooting at around 1:40 p.m., police said. The younger man was driven to a local hospital by a private vehicle, while police found the other victim at a different location.

Court records show police recovered a revolver and a pistol as well as two high-capacity drum magazines while investigating the case.

Police said officers previously arrested two other men besides Barefield on gun charges in connection with the incident. Myron Reed, 22, and Christopher Cawthorne, 22, were charged and have since resolved their cases through plea agreements, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

But court records also list Reed and Cawthorne as victims in the shooting. Prosecutors say they were among the group of men who were shot at in the garage, but not struck by gunfire.

Just months before the shooting, police arrested Cawthorne on suspicion of murder in connection with the fatal shooting of 48-year-old Deanna Rice in Hunters Point on June 8, 2020.

The District Attorney’s Office declined to charge him with murder in that case, citing a lack of evidence. Police and prosecutors do not appear to have alleged any connection between the two incidents.

Michael Barba

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Michael Barba

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