Slain Robbery Suspect Seen Through Tweets, Friends

Kibrom Bairu, 18, had been working in a part of a program designed to help struggling youths.


If you only read his , the 18-year-old in San Ramon Wednesday appeared to be living a life that glamorized money, thug life and guns.

But those who worked with him through a local youth empowerment program say there was more to him than the trail he left online.

Hayward resident Kibrom Bairu was also working at a Union City café as part of an internship program for troubled youths.

He was trying to improve his life, said owner Paddy Iyer on Thursday.

Bairu was enrolled in Hayward-based nonprofit ’s youth employment program, which got him an internship at Paddy’s Coffee House in Union City. SoulCiety's program is designed to provide at-risk and underserved youths with educational and professional development opportunities, according to the youth empowerment organization’s website.

Bairu was one of three participants interning at Paddy’s through SoulCiety.

“We work with at-risk youths trying to give them a focus on life,” café owner Iyer said.

Though he had only been interning for a month, Iyer said Bairu was a respectful, courteous and hardworking employee and one he had come to depend on.

“[Bairu] was very professional, very punctual, very dependable,” Iyer said. “We really had high hopes.”

Employees at Paddy’s and administrators at SoulCiety were devastated to learn of Bairu’s death and the circumstances surrounding it.

“It was completely unexpected,” said Aaron Horner, program director for SoulCiety. “He really was doing a great job working with us … He was a kind person, he was considerate. He took his job seriously and had a great work ethic. He was pleasant to be around.”

According to Horner, Bairu was involved with SoulCiety for about three months. As part of the program, Bairu was required to attend weekly skills workshops. He never missed a session and kept good on his commitment to Paddy’s, Horner said.

Though Horner was not able to speak on Bairu’s background, he added that Bairu was enrolled in an adult education program.

“The shame is that he’s not going to be known for who he really was because of the decision he made,” Horner said. 

“If you knew him, you would see that he exhibited the skills to be a contributing member of society,” Horner said. “We’re just very saddened by the entire situation. It’s very, very unfortunate that that decision was made. Our heart goes out to his family that has to deal with the loss of someone who could have added greatly to this world.”

However, authorities say Bairu was the only suspect brandishing a firearm during Wednesday’s botched robbery at in San Ramon.

San Ramon police say Bairu was making threatening statements when he was shot once.

After being wounded, he left the store and collapsed on San Ramon Valley Boulevard. Responding officers arrested Bairu and he was taken to , where he later died.

Three other suspects in the robbery reportedly fled in a 1990s white sedan and are still being sought by police, San Ramon Police Chief Scott Holder said.

The case is still under investigation, and San Ramon police ask if anyone has any information to call them at 925-973-2700.

San Ramon Patch Editor Patrck Creaven contributed to this report.

Eritrean queen June 02, 2012 at 06:09 AM
Eritrean terrorist ? Excuse me but last one I checked we are no were near terrorists. And you sound so ignorarant talking about a poor innocent young man, who was shot to death but in sure it's easy for you to talk behind a computer or cell phone and say whatever you want ! Please lete know your reasoning behind calling him a terrorist? Yes he made an unjustifiable choice but instead of having the chance to pay his debt to society he was MURDURERD . What if that was your son sibling relative or friend? "taking out the trash" you should Ashamed of yourself, but as the rest of you ignorant racists might know us Eritreans stick together and our community will get through this unfortunate loss as one
Bill Gannon June 02, 2012 at 03:46 PM
You are quite correct. I did not know him. From his own words and your words, I would not ever want to know him or anyone like him, you included. He has brought whatever feelings his family have to them. Not me. My parents taught me all sorts of things, such as not robbing people, holding doors for others, being a courteous driver, and trying to be a good person. Mind that being a good person does not mean being a push over. I do care what poor little Bairu was going through. He was trying to take things that were not his to take. I don't care about you or your feelings. If you are so bent out of shape, you should be angry with Bairu, it was his choice after all. As for climate change, there is nothing that can be done about it. The Earth's climate has been changing since day 1 and it will continue to do so. So, go fuck yourself.
Bill Gannon June 02, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Um, no. He was not murdered, he was killed in self-defense. Had it been a relative of mine, I would be ashamed that one of my relatives had behaved so badly and brought such dishonor upon my family. I guess he felt such a wonderful sense of community that he was only doing robberies of non-Eritreans, which would be fine right?
Mike jones June 02, 2012 at 06:38 PM
This is terrible this happened. In the same circumstances I probably would have shot him too. I feel very sorry for the young loss of life, and his mother who he loved. I also feel sorry for the man who had to take his life, and now has to deal with killing this young man. We can easily judge people, we need to have compassion for young thugs from the hood. Look at there enviornment, parents, peers. Do they really have a chance,hardly. Thanks for posting the positive as well as the negative on this troubled young man
Ken Briggs June 03, 2012 at 09:13 PM
so Aden Hagos , who were or was his friends that rob the place ? they can be charged for his death for they did not need to be in the place , lets hope the police can find the others and keep them in jail for life .


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