Second fatal officer-involved shooting in Oakland this year
By Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
OAKLAND, Calif. — An Oakland police motorcycle officer was shot and wounded early today and a suspect was shot dead after a traffic stop early this morning in East Oakland, police said as a search for a second suspect continued into the afternoon.
The confrontation occurred about 12:15 a.m. when an officer, assigned to an operation targeting illegal car rallies known as "sideshows," stopped a vehicle seen running a stop sign on the 7800 block of MacArthur Boulevard near Parker Avenue, police said.
The spontaneous nature of the sideshows which are staged on interstates, in deserted parking lots (like the one shown here in Stockton, Calif., July 2006), and on downtown streets keeps police guessing. Departments have spent millions in overtime policing the outlaw rallies. (AP Photo/Omar Vega)
Someone inside the vehicle opened fire as the officer approached, but his bullet-resistant vest saved him from serious injury, police said. Doctors treated the officer, a 17-year veteran whom authorities would not name, for minor injuries and he remains in good condition, said police Deputy Chief Howard Jordan.
"It's a traumatic situation, but he's going to be OK," police spokesman Officer Roland Holmgren said a press conference.
Oakland police and the Alameda County district attorney's office have launched an investigation into the killing of the suspect.
The officer summoned help as the vehicle sped away. The occupants abandoned the vehicle nearby and police surrounded an area bounded by 73rd, 82nd, Ney and Bancroft avenues before launching a search, said police spokesman Holmgren said.
Authorities found a suspect hiding in the crawl space beneath a house on the 2600 block of Parker; a confrontation ensued and ended with the man being shot, Jordan said. He would not elaborate. A second suspect, identified as Jesse William Mendez, 26, remains at large.
Mendez was among those in the car, but authorities would not say which of the occupants is suspected of shooting the officer.
Police were in the area along MacArthur Boulevard late Friday and early today in response to complaints about sideshows and motorists running stop signs, Holmgren said. Sideshows, illegal car rallies where participants perform donuts and other stunts with their vehicles, have long been a problem in Oakland and several people have been shot and even killed during them.
It was the second fatal officer-involved shooting in Oakland this year. On Feb. 3, an officer shot and killed a man who had been firing a gun on the 6100 block of Foothill Boulevard.
Copyright 2007 The San Francisco Chronicle
Calif. officer shot, wounded; suspect killed