SAN PABLO — The arrest of a 22-year-old man on murder charges here was partially based on a ballistics test that linked a March 2019 non-fatal shooting to the July homicide of an Albany man, court records show.

Jeffrey Vo, 22, was charged last January with murdering Robel Tadesse, 22, in a July 9 shooting on the 900 block of Stanton Avenue. Police have not disclosed the suspected motive in the shooting, but believe that Tadesse traveled to San Pablo to meet with either Vo or one of his friends.

Within minutes of the shooting, Vo was a person of interest; a responding officer saw a suspicious vehicle, driving away from the scene with no headlights on. It was traveling in the opposite direction and the officer was unable to make a traffic stop, but police used the city’s automated license plate reader system to identify the car as a silver Honda belonging to Vo, court records show.

Then, three days into the investigation, detectives were informed that a ballistics test had linked the bullets that killed Tadesse to a March 2019 shooting in San Francisco. In that case, a silver coupe was reported at the scene. Police determined that the victim was shot during the course of a marijuana transaction, according to court records.

The victim was shown a photo lineup including Vo, and lingered at his picture, but did not identify anyone as being the shooting, authorities said.

For the next several months, police attempted to bring Vo in for questioning, contacting his family, and searching various addresses where he was known to stay. It was widely believed he’d left the state. During the investigation, authorities recovered text messages from one of Vo’s family members suggesting that he knew he was a murder suspect, court records show.

Finally, in January, Vo was arrested at a home on the 2600 block of Greenwood Drive in unincorporated San Pablo. A police statement thanks “community partners” for providing tips that led to Vo’s arrest.

Vo has entered a not guilty plea on a lone charge of murder with an enhancement alleging use of a firearm. His case has not yet had a preliminary hearing, where a judge will review evidence against him and determine if there is enough to take the case to trial.


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