No suspect found after standoff in Oakland

March 7, 2010 1:47:31 PM PST
Police in Oakland are still searching for a suspect in a fatal shooting that happened Saturday.

Their manhunt locked down an East Oakland neighborhood all day. Around 8 p.m. Saturday, a SWAT team stormed an apartment building where they believed the man was holed up but he was not there.

It was a frustrating day for police and residents in East Oakland, all because of one gunman and some bad information.

"You see that they're not dressed. It's cold. We have no jackets. Someone actually gave this off their back for me," said neighbor Shalon Talley as she stood with some children. "I spent a whole day in my pajamas out in the streets."

Police evacuated an apartment building after they were told an armed man was holed up inside. By nightfall, residents were still waiting to go home.

"We apologize to the community for having the streets locked down, but we have to do this in the safest manner," said Oakland police spokesperson Holly Joshi.

It was almost one year ago that Oakland lost two SWAT officers after they stormed into a building. They were shot by Lovelle Mixon, who was hiding inside. He had just shot two other officers to death out on the street. Since then, SWAT has changed its tactics.

"Things have slowed down and we are now utilizing extra techniques, extra technology before we actually make entry," said Joshi.

In this case, police were dealing with a man who had shot a 19-year-old man.Several hours into the stand-off, the SWAT team fired tear gas into the building to try and drive the suspect out. They also sent in a police dog.

"I don't think they were waiting it out. What they were doing was, they were taking action the entire time, but we can't rush things. We have to be methodical. We have to make sure everyone's safe," Joshi explained.

Neighbors say they understand being careful, but question whether this was going too far.

"You've been holding people captive since 11:30," said Talley. "If you haven't found the person by now, you're not going to find them right now."

In the end, Talley was right. When officers went inside, the suspect was nowhere to be found.

"It's ridiculous," one woman told ABC7. "They should have known that before they made everybody stand out here. People couldn't get their kids medicine and stuff. They need to find out what they're doing."

Police say they know who they are looking for. They have his name, but say they are not ready to release it. The young man who was killed is the fourth victim of gun violence in Oakland over a 40-hour span.

Two men were shot to death Friday afternoon and another man was murdered Thursday night. All three victims died in West Oakland.


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