One Year After Horrific Amtrak Area Shooting, Alex Madias Continues His Long Road To Recovery

2 mins read

Last Monday marked one year since the horrific shooting of Alex Madias near the Emeryville Amtrak station. Madias was picking up a friend when he was the subject of an attempted robbery where he was shot in the back of the head.

Madias survived the encounter, but is experiencing a long road to recovery.

Alex was released from the hospital back in April, just two months after the shooting. He had to first battle an infection prior to receiving reconstructive surgery on his damaged skull. The injury from the bullet caused a condition known as aphasia which impacts ones cognitive abilities including speech, reading and writing.

Alex also suffered from some memory loss. “Alex’s memory seems mostly intact except that he has no memory of the incident,” according to a May 14th, 2018 update on his CaringBridge.org site. “[We’re] thankful it will likely never be something he has to relive.”



After fighting through the infection and gradually improving his stamina, Alex underwent a cranioplasty procedure that involves surgically restoring the contour of the skull. “[Alex] is now the proud owner of an artificial plate protecting his brain,” his family noted in a February 11th journal entry.

According to the update, Alex has made gradual improvements to his cognitive and language skills including reading and writing simple sentences and carrying on normal conversations. “He stalls once in a while as he searches for the right words, but for the most part it sounds like natural speech.”


Alex is slowly returning to normal life including playing recreational volleyball, yard work, volunteering, and his passions of Civil War Reenactments and involvement with a Star Wars themed costume troupe know as the 501st Legion. He’s even targeting a part-time return to his job as a software engineer.

His family cautioned that they don’t have any misperceptions of the long journey ahead for Alex. “There remain constant reminders of Alex’s injuries and those will be with us for a lifetime as will his ongoing cognitive and medical challenges. But “Alex continues to amaze us in how far he has come and how he continues to improve daily.”

His family also expressed their appreciation for all of the support he’s received. “We are thankful for all that we have, including the love and support of all of you. We still have many steps to take on this journey but we are strengthened by having each and every one of you taking the strides with us. Thank you all.

Emeryville Police Still Seeking Leads

The Emeryville Police released surveillance video of the suspect in Madias’ shooting two months after the incident. The dithered clip apparently shows the suspect fleeing the scene through Heritage Park.

Emeryville Police Captain Oliver Collins noted the department’s Criminal Investigations Section was still active on the case. “As far as investigative leads, we are still working on leads as new ones come in, but obviously the regularity has decreased.”

Anyone with new information is encouraged to contact the EPD’s Criminal Investigations Section at (510) 596-3774.

Feature Image: Alex, in a photo taken prior to this incident, with Labrador puppies that he helped train to service the blind.


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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.


  1. I called EPD the day after the shooting regarding a light colored sedan that went flying down Horton at 45-50mph one block from the shooting less than a minute before the police cars flew by responding to the shooting. At the time, not knowing the shooting had occurred, I assumed the police were pursuing the sedan.

    I never even received a call back.

    Unless the sedan was an uncover car responding to the shooting, I don’t understand why I wouldn’t have at least heard from the detective the dispatcher had me leave a voice mail for.

    It could have been a coincidence I suppose but given that a number of these gunpoint robberies seem to involve a driver nearby who picks up his partner after the robbery, I can’t help but think there was a relationship between the two. Hoping the speeding unmarked sedan was EPD responding.

    I would really like to see the shooter caught.

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