FBI disputes claims agents were at funeral of Oakland man fatally shot by agent

A special agent told ABC7 News, "No FBI personnel were at the funeral. There was no FBI enforcement action."

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
FBI disputes victim's family's claim agents were at his funeral
The FBI is disputing claims its agents attended an Oakland funeral for a victim of an FBI shooting.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- There are new details Tuesday in the fatal shooting of an Oakland man by an FBI agent. The FBI invited only ABC7 News and the Mercury News to an interview to dispute allegations made by Jonathan Cortez's family.

On September 13 at 3:22 p.m., an FBI special agent deputized as a US Marshal attempted to serve one federal and two state arrest warrants for Jonathan Cortez at a store on the 2500 block of Fruitvale Avenue. FBI San Francisco Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair says the agent was clearly marked as law enforcement. He would not say what the arrest warrants were for.

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"Mr. Cortez did not obey lawful commands, he subsequently drew a 40 caliber hand gun from a bag, at which point the agent had reason to believe the subject posed an immediate danger of death or serious physical injury to himself," said Fair.

Fair says the FBI agent shot Cortez one time in his torso. Cortez was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

At the time, there were approximately 12 other task force members outside the store exiting their vehicles, according to Fair.

Monday, Cortez's family held a press conference on the steps of Oakland City Hall.

Tuesday, the FBI disputed allegations made by the family at the press conference.

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"This FBI agent attended our funeral undercover, harassed our family members and arrested two individuals, one at the funeral and one at a reception at the dining place where we had it afterwards," said Cortez's uncle Johnny Wong.

"No FBI personnel were at the funeral. There was no FBI enforcement action. There was no action taken on behalf of the FBI," said Fair.

Fair says the US Marshals Service did execute an arrest warrant after the funeral at a different location.

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A US Marshals Service spokesperson tells the ABC7 I-Team they arrested 37-year-old Kenneth Roberts on behalf of San Mateo Police Department for assault with a weapon and probation violation, both felony warrants, outside a restaurant on Junipero Serra Boulevard in Daly City.

Cortez's uncle says Roberts had been a pallbearer at Cortez's funeral.

The family has asked to see surveillance video from inside the store where the FBI agent shot Cortez.

"We want that footage to be released," said Wong.

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Fair says the Oakland Police Department took possession of that video, as they are investigating the fatal shooting.

A spokesperson for OPD says the Oakland Police Department is working with the Alameda County District Attorney's Office and the FBI to determine who will be responsible for releasing the video.

Fair would not say what the status is of the FBI agent who shot and killed Cortez.