The man, who will only identify himself as Russ, says he was caught in a hail of bullets when Emeryville police opened fire, killing the female suspect.
Around 12:30 p.m. Russ and his friend were unloading boxes from their cars at a storage building, when he heard the woman.
"Screaming wildly and she had a gun, and then she ran from his car over to my car," Russ said. "And then the police were giving commands. I couldn't tell what they were saying but they were giving very strong commands."
Russ says he heard between six and seven shots. Some of them shattered the window of his Ford Focus. He said he couldn't tell if police and the suspect were shooting.
Neither Russ nor his friend were injured.
"When officers were in route to the call, the caller reported that the suspect was armed with a gun," Sgt. Fred Sauer said.
Witnesses at the Home Depot say the suspect pulled out a gun after security officers accused her of shoplifting. Emeryville police chased her down Hollis Street, under the Highway 24 over pass and into Oakland.
"And she's running and this policewoman is behind her," said witness Marilynn Tijerino. "Before we made it to the corner, another police officer with sirens blasting turned the corner, and I came back and she was dead."
Oakland police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson said investigators found the gun the woman was allegedly carrying.
The shooting is being investigated by the Oakland police homicide section, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office and Emeryville police.
Dauer said some Emeryville police officers have body cameras but he did not know whether the officers involved in the shooting had them.
Even after hearing the suspect was armed, about 60 protesters marched and smashed the window of the Home Depot.