Videos show scene before BART shooting

January 7, 2009 12:31:06 PM PST
Video has emerged that captures the tense moments leading up to a BART police officer shooting that killed a man on New Year's Day.

BART officials gave permission for the victim's family to have a memorial at the Fruitvale Station for the next 10 days. More than two dozen friends and family went there to remember Oscar Grant Saturday, as new videos of the shooting began surfacing.

19-year old Karina Vargas shot one of those videos on January 1st, at about 2:15 a.m. at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland. She was going home from the fireworks show in San Francisco.

BART officers say they were trying to subdue two groups of men who were fighting on a train.

In Vargas' video the camera shifts to show an officer trying to arrest one man, when another officer's gun fires behind them.

22-year old Hayward resident Oscar Grant was hit by the officer's bullet. He later died.

It is not clear if the shooting was intentional or an accident.

"When you watch that video your stomach just drops out from underneath you when you hear that gunshot, because you know what the end result is," said BART's Chief Spokesperson Linton Johnson.

Johnson was at the vigil set up by Grant's family in front of the Fruitvale Station. He says the officer is on paid leave while BART Police and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office conduct their investigations.

He says officers are looking at all the videos of the incident that have come out since the shooting.

"It's a double tragedy here. We lost a human life and we have an officer who is devastated."

Oscar's friends and family were listening to ABC7's interview with Johnson and questioned him about the shooting.

"I don't think that the officer is feeling any pain from this. He's feeling like he did something wrong," said family member Deon Brown.

"What my niece going to think?" asked a woman standing by. "She want her daddy when she go to bed. She used to her daddy being on the side of her. Her daddy aint' there on the side of her now. And she crying, talking about 'where's daddy at?'"

Litton told her, "There's nothing I could ever say to take that away. There's nothing I could say."

She replied, "There's nothing I can say to take that way either. It hurt me because, that's my brother's only child."

The memorial at the Fruitvale BART Station will be up for ten days.

Attorney John Burris has scheduled a press conference Sunday with Grant's family.