OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA — A 20-year-old Oakland man was fatally shot by police Tuesday night during a confrontation when suspects fleeing in vehicles struck at least three officers. It came after a crime rampage in Oakland that included robberies of coffee shops, marijuana dispensaries, and retail stores selling shoes and electronics.
At the time of the incident, officers were attempting to stop over a dozen people attempting to rob a marijuana grow business. Some of the suspects fled on foot while others fled in cars that were part of the crime caravan. Three officers were struck, and an officer fired his weapon, fatally wounding the man.
Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department believes the same group is responsible for dozens of robberies and attempted robberies in Oakland Tuesday night, as well as criminal activity in the neighboring cities of San Lorenzo, Emeryville and Richmond on Wednesday night.
“This is the same crew. They are very bold, very reckless in the way they operate,” Kelly said on Thursday. “The community as a whole doesn’t tolerate this type of behavior. It is beyond what people will accept.” In the fatal Tuesday night incident, officers arrested over a dozen suspects and recovered nine guns.
Despite barricaded streets and a visibly large presence of officers in Oakland well before dark, there were at least 10 reports of break-ins, robberies, and shootings by what officials referred to as “roving teams of armed robbers”. One incident resulted in a gunfire exchange at a marijuana grow business and resulted in the security guard being shot.
Authorities say that this type of coordinated criminal activity is similar to events of earlier this year, and has also occurred in other cities in the region. Oakland authorities are teaming up with San Francisco Bay Area law enforcement agencies “to form a regional response to these violent caravans that target commercial businesses.”
California’s restrictive gun laws make it extremely difficult for citizens to adequately defend themselves against roving organized criminals who indiscriminately roam neighborhoods in search of innocent victims.