Alleged Laptop Thieves Charged With Killing Cafe Customer

All News KCBS Radio
January 03, 2020 - 3:35 pm
Oakland police say they have arrested two suspects who were involved in the death of a Starbucks customer who tried to stop thieves from stealing his laptop in Oakland on Dec. 31, 2019.

Bob Butler/KCBS Radio


Two alleged laptop thieves were charged with killing a Starbucks customer in Oakland who died trying to stop them from stealing his computer, police said.

The Alameda Cuonty District Attorney's office charged Byron Reed, 22, with special circumstance murder and second-degree robbery while Javon Lee, 21 was charged with voluntary manslaughter and second-degree robbery. 

Shuo Zeng, 34, of Oakland, was in the cafe on New Year's Eve when a thief took his laptop and ran to a waiting car, the Oakland Police Department has said.

Zeng suffered fatal injuries on his birthday when he chased after the suspects' fleeing car, according to police.

There are differing accounts about what happened to Zeng. Some versions said he was hit by the car while other accounts said he fell from it.

Reed was the driver, according to authorities.

Zeng was a native of China who reportedly studied physics at Sichuan University before getting a doctorate at Kansas State University. The report said his LinkedIn profile showed he had moved to the Bay Area in 2015 to work as a research scientist and engineer for Aspera in Emeryville.