PoliceOne Staff Report (OAKLAND, Calif.) -- An internal investigation has begun to determine why two rookie officers shot and killed an undercover officer who was arresting a suspected car thief Friday morning.
William Wilkins, 29, became the first police officer in the city's history to be killed by friendly fire, authorities said. Since 1867, 46 officers have been killed in Oakland in the line of duty.
Wilkins was wearing civilian clothes at the time of the shooting, working undercover. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Wilkins had just nabbed a car theft suspect when the two uniformed officers, who were also after the same thief, came upon him.
The newspaper said police officials would not give any reason why the two officers opened fire on Wilkins or how many times he was shot, saying that the investigation had just begun.