OAKLAND — Earlier this month, Oakland police arrested 34-year-old Amadi Monroe after identifying him as a murder suspect who went by the nickname “Bang” and who’d been stalking his victim, Jerald Larnell Clark II, since Monroe’s release from jail a month earlier.
But when Monroe sat down in a police interrogation room after his Aug. 11 arrest and waived his Miranda rights, Monroe confessed not just to killing Clark, but also to fatally shooting 30-year-old Brenda Diaz in a Target parking lot hours earlier, authorities said. He then drove Diaz’s Lexus to Oakland to shoot Clark, with her body still in the front seat, according to authorities.
Despite the confession, Monroe has thus far only been charged with murder in the killing of Clark. Authorities say the delay in charging him with Diaz’s death has been jurisdictional; investigators are working to confirm his story that he shot Diaz within San Rafael city limits, and whether the Marin or Alameda County District Attorney’s office will end up taking the case.
But in both homicides, Monroe’s extreme paranoia appears to be the motive, authorities say. During his confession, he allegedly told police he believed that both Diaz and Clark were involved in some sort of nefarious plot against him, adding that when Diaz attempted to reassure him this wasn’t true, he produced a gun and shot her in the head around 7 p.m. on Aug. 8, inside the parked Lexus.
Monroe then drove to Oakland to purchase a bag of cocaine from Clark, he reportedly told police. A member of Clark’s family would tell authorities that he had been desperately trying to avoid Monroe, who had become strangely fixated on Clark since Monroe’s release from jail in July in an unrelated shooting case.
In that case, Monroe was ordered to stand trial on charges of shooting at a car near a retirement center. But at the same July hearing, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Nixon lowered Monroe’s bail from $300,000 to $200,000, noting that “I really shouldn’t do that,” but admonishing Clark not to possess guns if he was able to post bail. Two weeks later, on July 26, Monroe put up $20,000 and was released from jail, court records show.
Clark was shot and killed around 9 p.m. on Aug. 8, roughly two hours after Monroe allegedly killed Diaz, police said. Monroe ultimately drove the Lexus and Diaz’s body to the 900 block of 22nd Avenue in Oakland, and texted a member of Diaz’s family to confess what he did. Diaz’s body was found in the car on the morning of Aug. 11, hours before Monroe was arrested, police said.
According to police, Monroe was dating Diaz, a San Rafael resident who worked at the Tiburon Peninsula Club, and was a longtime friend of Clark. A GoFundMe page for Diaz’s funeral expenses has raised nearly $45,000.
“(Diaz) was known as the life of the party, had the most infectious laugh and truly lit up every room she walked into,” the GoFundMe page says. “Our family is at a loss for words and we will miss her more than we can express.”
After the Clark shooting and before ditching Diaz’ car in Oakland, Monroe is suspected of committing two nonfatal shootings in Richmond on the night of Aug. 10, Richmond police say.
Monroe is being held in Santa Rita Jail without bail, court records show.