Residents tell ABC7 News that they heard gunfire and a lot of commotion after a police license plate check took a violent and deadly turn, "I hear shots fired a lot, but I have not seen this kind of police response before."
Hayward police are working through the chain of events that lead to an officer shooting and killing a man Friday, "All I heard was four shots fired and it wasn't muffled like it usually is," neighbor Sue Johnston said.
The metallic clang of gunfire rang out just before noon, causing curious residents to come out of their homes to see what all the commotion was about. Shell casings littered the ground while police tape stretched across a neighborhood park, popular with children
"This is spooky and it's too close to home," Johnston said.
Police say that just before noon a Hayward officer spotted a parked car at the intersection of Briergate Way and Vanderbilt Street. Investigators say that after the officer ran a license plate check, information came back listing the car as stolen.
Johnston heard shots being fired and didn't know what to do, "It's one of those thing, should I call the police, did somebody else already call, so I didn't do anything."
It turns out Johnston didn't need to -- police were already on the scene. The officer approached the man who was alone in the car and ordered him repeatedly to show his hands. According to investigators, the man ignored those orders and then made a move that forced the officer to pull his weapon and open fire.
"The suspect did not comply with his orders, the suspect then reached for a weapon," said Hayward police Sgt. Mark Ormsby. "And at that point, the officer, fearing the suspect was arming himself, was forced to use lethal force."
Hayward police have not identified the victim, but have confirmed that their suspect died from his wounds after arriving at Eden Medical Center. No one else was injured in the shooting.
Treeview Elementary School is nearby and was in session at the time. After the shots were fired there was a lockdown order given as a precaution, which lasted only 15 minutes.
"I've been here for quite a while and it's very peaceful," neighbor Janine Truman said. "Everybody says, 'hi' to each other if you're walking down the street. It is shocking."
Police are looking for an additional witness and are reluctant to reveal more about the weapon in their suspect's possession and other material evidence recovered from the car. The officer who fired the shots is on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation, which is routine in an officer-involved shooting.