Gunfire erupts in front of Marriott Hotel in Oakland


The shots rang out at Broadway and 11th Street, just outside the Marriott Hotel in the heart of Downtown Oakland at about 3 p.m. It happened just as an ABC sports anchor from Columbus, Ohio was about to go live in front of the hotel. Their camera captured a man running from the scene and police think he may be a suspect.

Witnesses say there were two shooters firing at each other and a stray bullet struck a cab driver at the hotel taxi stand.

"This guy that got shot was standing right next to me. So when I hear the shots, I just went down right here buy the tire, and he was screaming, 'Call 911, I got shot!'" said witness Aziz Latifi.

Witnesses say the cab driver was standing on the sidewalk in front of the hotel, having a cup of coffee, when the shots came from Broadway. As the driver turned to run, a bullet struck him in the back of the thigh.

There were plenty of witnesses because the Ohio State football team and many of their boosters are staying at that hotel. SKY7 HD spotted many people in Buckeyes gear milling outside the hotel just after the shooting.

One witness says he was in his office, overlooking the scene, when he heard between three and five gunshots.

"After everybody got up from their desks we all ran up to the window pretty quick," witness John Cleary said. "We noticed panic in the Marriott and we saw these two gunshot holes."

A man was detained after federal officers saw him running from the scene. But he was released a short time later. When asked why he ran from the hotel, he said he was just trying to get away from the gunfire.

BART police Lt. Michael Hayes says the incident affected service in part because there was a report of a person armed with a gun entering the 12th Street/City Center BART Station following the shooting.

According to Hayes, trains were held while the station and trains were searched, but no suspects were located.

Around the same time, a strong-arm robbery also occurred at the West Oakland BART station. Hayes says a train was held at Lake Merritt station in connection with that incident while police searched for the suspect, but the suspect was gone.

BART service cleared around 3:22 p.m.

Police say shootings are rare in the heart of Downtown Oakland. Now they're examining hotel surveillance cameras trying to identify the gunmen.

(Bay City News contributed to this report)

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