Bay Area senator slams BART for lack of security cameras

Byby Janet O via KGO logo
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Bay Area senator slams BART for lack of security cameras
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Following the fatal shooting of a BART passenger, St. Sen. Steven Glazer is criticizing BART for not installing real cameras on all trains.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The passenger who was fatally shot on a train at the West Oakland BART station last Saturday night has been identified by the Alameda County Coroner's Bureau as 19-year-old Carlos Misael Funez-Romero of Antioch.

On Friday, BART police also released new photos that provide a clearer image of the suspect. In a statement, officials said that while original reports were that the suspect had a shaved head, these photos show he may have a close-cut haircut and possibly a light mustache.

"We cannot provide details on how and where these pictures were obtained at this time as this is an ongoing and active investigation," said BART spokesperson Alicia Trost. "Investigators continue to analyze multiple sources of surveillance tapes."

State leaders come down hard on BART officials for dropping the ball on a major security threat. St. Sen. Steven Glazer, D-Walnut Creek, is not shy about criticizing BART for what he calls a dysfunctional security system. He says BART has been making bad decisions for a long time, but even he is surprised nothing is being done about this.

WATCH VIDEO: In light of fatal shooting, BART police chief says not all trains record video

"It's unfortunate, it is outrageous," Glazer said.

The fatal shooting has put BART's security -- or lack thereof -- back in the spot light.

BART police will not say if there was a fake or real camera on the train where the shooting occurred. They do admit not all cameras are real and others don't always work.

"Security is not a joke and it shouldn't be left up to trying to fool the thieves or the robbers," Glazer said.

Glazer says BART is long overdue in fixing the problem by having working cameras that can monitor the situation in real-time.

Trost defends the transit agency's practices and says they have no plans to get rid of their decoy cameras. Trost told ABC7 News, "What riders need to know we have multiple layers of security and we have a very good situational awareness of what's going on around the station."

BART passengers are not convinced. Joshua McCain said, "I feel like they should do more, invest money in protecting the people. They want people to ride the trains, but how do you want us to pay for service that we aren't safe riding."

Since 9/11, BART has received $200 million to beef up security; $4.2 million in 2013 was specifically given to upgrade its wireless systems and provide live streaming from the cameras on board.

Trost admits they haven't been able to figure out the technology on a moving train, until now. She expects the newest technology to be added as early as September. Regardless, critics question why it's taking so long.

VIDEO: Police need public's help identifying West Oakland BART train shooting suspect

BART police said witnesses reported that the suspect, who is still at large, used a handgun to shoot Funez-Romero multiple times on a San Francisco International Airport-bound train as it was approaching the West Oakland station at about 7:45 p.m. Saturday and then fled on foot from the train at the West Oakland station.

Coroner's officials said Funez-Romero died of multiple gunshot wounds.

BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey released surveillance camera photos of the suspect as he was leaving the West Oakland station after the shooting and asked for the public's help in identifying him.

BART police describe the suspect as a black man in his late 20s to early 30s who is about 6 feet 2 inches tall with a skinny build, broad shoulders and a scruffy face who was wearing a long green trench coat over a dark hooded sweatshirt with its hood up, dark pants, a dark backpack and was armed with a black semi-automatic handgun.

Rainey said a knife was recovered at the shooting scene on the train, but police don't know if it belonged to the victim. He said investigators don't know what the motive was for the shooting and don't know what kind of a relationship the suspect and Funez-Romero had, if any.

He said anyone with information about the suspect should call (510) 464-7040 and ask for Detective Sanchez or Sgt. Power or can call (510) 464-7011 to make an anonymous tip.

Bay City news contributed to this report.