4 arrested after standoff in Oakland

June 15, 2009 12:00:02 PM PDT
A tense scene in an East Oakland neighborhood is over after a five-hour police standoff with suspected burglars. This is the first time the Oakland SWAT team has been called out since four officers were shot and killed this past March.

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Seven hours after the incident started Oakland police were still at the scene where a five-block area had been cordoned off between 83rd and 85th Avenues at International Blvd. When all was said and done, police said they had a very successful operation, something the Oakland SWAT team very much needed.

It looked like a war zone with truckloads of SWAT team members being shuffled about and Oakland police officers with guns drawn and aimed. It started when a citizen reported a home burglary in progress. Responding officers gave chase.

"During this foot pursuit there was a shot fired. The officers at that time did not know whether the suspect was shooting at them. So, they called for additional assistance and they set up a quick perimeter," said Oakland SWAT Capt. Ed Tracey.

Police response was overwhelming and surrounded one girl walking to church with her grandparents.

"Kind of scared as I walk around here," she said describing how all the police activity made her feel.

Police arrested four suspects including one man who suffered a gunshot wound to his foot. All told, four people were taken into custody. Some were found on rooftops. Police say they found weapons.

This was the first call-out, or non-planned, SWAT team activity since the day in March when four officers were shot and killed. Capt. Tracey took heat for staying at the hospital that day instead of leading his SWAT team in the search for the murderer, a search that resulted in the killing of two SWAT team members.

He described Monday's team effort.

"Excellent. This is a team of professionals. As I've said before emotions are high. This team is moving forward and I'm happy to see how they're reacting and how they're handling themselves," he said.

When Monday's operation was over the SWAT team members received a surprise courtesy of the citizens of Oakland.

"And that was great to see, the citizens of East Oakland actually applaud for our SWAT officers as they were coming back in. So, it was good for us. It was good for this community. It was a great effort overall by everyone involved today," said Capt. Tracey.

Oakland police say they did not shoot the wounded suspect in the foot. They do not know how that happened and are looking into it. Capt.

Tracey wanted to praise along praise to the Alameda County deputies who backed him up, to the people who reported the incident and supported the SWAT team as they responded to the incident, and to the SWAT team members themselves.

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