Trial set for Fremont man accused of firing at Vallejo cops during Oakland gun battle

Trial set for Fremont man accused of firing at Vallejo cops during Oakland gun battle

A Solano County Superior Court judge set a 2024 jury trial for a Fremont man charged with trying to kill a Vallejo police officer during a 2018 Oakland gun battle following a high-speed pursuit from Vallejo into the East Bay city.

Court records show Dominic James Milano, 44, appeared Friday in Department 2 for more proceedings in the case, and Judge Daniel Healy, who earlier vacated a January trial, ordered the defendant to return to face jurors at 8:30 a.m. April 19 in the Justice Building in Vallejo. The judge also ordered Milano to return for a readiness conference at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 19.

Milano is represented by Deputy Public Defender Nick Filloy, and Chief Deputy District Attorney Bruce Flynn appeared on behalf of the Solano County District Attorney’s Office for trial-setting proceeding.

After a 2020 preliminary hearing, Flynn decided to drop all but one attempted murder charge, agreeing with Filloy there was only sufficient evidence to charge Milano with the attempted murder of Officer Matt Komoda and not two other officers involved in the Nov. 1, 2018, chase into Oakland, where Milano was arrested.

In a brief interview after the two-day proceedings, Filloy said the DA did not have enough evidence to charge Milano with the two other serious felonies, because a bullet — or a bullet fragment — was found in a vehicle shared by the two responding officers, a bullet that may have been a ricochet, not a round fired directly at them.

The remaining felony charges, besides attempted murder, include evading a peace officer by a wrong-way driver; being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm; and being a prohibited person possessing ammunition.

During the initial preliminary hearing, witnesses to the shooting in the area of International Boulevard and 22nd Avenue, where Milano allegedly began firing at officers after crashing his vehicle, described what they saw and heard.

One of them said he was unable to identify the driver in a “black car,” and, under cross-examination by Filloy, said he saw the driver of the vehicle through the passenger side of the vehicle. The witness also said he didn’t see the driver of the black vehicle fire a weapon.

Flynn called to the witness stand Brandon Graham of Vallejo, who told the prosecutor that he had called 911 on Nov. 1 after seeing Milano earlier in the day.

A day or two before the alleged crime, Graham said he had agreed to help Milano move and, at one point, the defendant had shown Graham several weapons in his possession.

He told Flynn that Milano had called him during the police pursuit and, at some point, told Graham he was not going to be captured by the police.

If found guilty at trial, Milano may face a life sentence with the possibility of parole on the main charge and additional years on the others, with the possibility of enhancements that likely would lengthen any sentence.

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The Solano County DA’s Office filed a complaint in the case on Nov. 5, 2018, according to court records.

Around 1 p.m. Nov. 1, Milano was reportedly armed and sitting in a vehicle in the Glen Cove neighborhood in Vallejo. A witness alerted officers, whose arrival on scene prompted Milano to flee. He then sped west on Interstate 80, reaching speeds of up to 120 mph as he headed toward Alameda County.

Milano allegedly fired at pursuing Vallejo police officers during the chase and, arriving in Oakland, where he crashed his vehicle, he subsequently again fired upon the officers. They returned the gunfire. No officers were injured or wounded.

At the time of the shooting, Milano reportedly was wearing body armor and in possession of a considerable cache of firearms. A search of his vehicle revealed an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, an AK-47 assault rifle, an Uzi submachine gun and two Glock semi-automatic handguns.

Solano County sheriff’s deputies arrested Milano on Nov. 12 at Alameda County Jail and booked him into Solano County Jail the same day. He remains in the Stanton Correctional Facility in Fairfield on $2.5 million bail.