It had apparently been three years since some suspect squatters had paid any rent to stay on property belonging to an 80-year-old man in Vallejo. He was attempting to evict them, and before he could there was an altercation that ended with him with a sword in his back, and one of the squatters was fatally shot. Now two others have been charged.
The incident happened on Sunday morning, November 13, and a tenant on the property at 3rd and Lemon streets in Vallejo said that the property owner, 80-year-old Curt Lind, was preparing to have the sheriff come evict several squatters within days. Neighbors had taken to calling them "The Cult," and whether or not drugs were involved, people had seen at least four individuals wandering the property naked and acting strangely over many months.
Patrick McMillan lives in an RV on the property and told KTVU that Lind called the cops around 2:30 a.m. after the squatters began making news, throwing rocks, and trying to bang down Lind's door. They had apparently found out about the coming eviction, and were upset. The cops never showed.
By around 7 a.m., things had escalated further, Lind apparently pulled out a gun, and either before or after he was stabbed through with a sword — McMillan said Lind came to his door with a sword sticking out of his back, with the tip coming out of his chest — Lind apparently fired on two of the squatters. One of them, a 31-year-old woman whose name has not yet been released by police, subsequently died from her injuries.
One of the other two present at the time was arrested, and KTVU now reports, the two have been formally charged with their friend's death, and with aggravated mayhem and the attempted murder of Lind — who remains hospitalized and recovering.
The two individuals charged are Suri Dao, 21, and Alexander Jeffrey Leatham, 27. The deceased woman has only been identified in documents as E.B.
Leatham appears to be the other person who was shot by Lind, and he was reportedly in critical condition last week. It's not clear if he was released from the hospital, but he was nonetheless charged.
The situation was created, according to Lind's daughter, Dina Morrill, after Lind had opened up his property to RVs and containers, allowing people to live there cheaply. As the Chronicle reports, he also lived in a trailer on the property, and Morrill tells the paper that her father always "thinks the best of people" and "What he thought was a good idea turned into a nightmare."
Lind's son, Carl Lind, previously told KTVU that the squatters had stopped paying rent years ago, but the eviction was held by the COVID eviction moratorium.
"He just wanted this as a place to let artists or wood workers, electricians, to be able to come and live in a little trailer and have a container where they could work and put their tools and have a safe place," Carl Lind tells NBC Bay Area.
McMillan told NBC Bay Area that he'd been trying to remove the troublesome squatters for three years.
"He had an agreement that [the squatters] were going to fix up their vehicles, and then they were going to leave,” Morrill explains to the Chronicle, but the squatters didn't hold up their end of the agreement, and began overtaking the whole property as their own.
In addition to the sword through his torso, Lind also suffered a laceration to his eye, and his son said he was likely to lose that eye. The family set up a GoFundMe for Lind, saying he was on a fixed income.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Vallejo Police Detective Ken Jackson 707-648-4280 or Brian Murphy 707-648-5430.