Oakland murder victim's dying declaration leads to arrest of suspect

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

OAKLAND, Calif. -- A man who was shot multiple times in the chest near Bishop O'Dowd High School in East Oakland last week gave a dying declaration to police that led to a murder charge being filed against the suspect in the case, authorities said today.

Officers who responded to the shooting of 22-year-old Charles McElroy in the 9800 block of Burr Street at 4:09 a.m. last Thursday realized McElroy's injuries were life-threatening so they took a statement from him in which he said a man named Sean shot him, Oakland police Officer Jason Andersen wrote in a probable cause statement.

McElroy was then transported to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where he was pronounced dead about two hours later, police said.

Andersen said that based on McElroy's description of the suspect's vehicle, which he said was unique, and other witness statements, he was able to identify 31-year-old Sean Singleton as the "Sean" who McElroy said had shot him.

Andersen said police conducted surveillance at Singleton's residence at 5308 Fresno Ave. in Richmond and arrested him at 3:35 p.m. Thursday as he was driving away from his home.

He said a loaded .40-caliber pistol was recovered in plain view from the floorboard of Singleton's vehicle and after police served a search warrant at Singleton's home, they found a Glock 10mm pistol that had been modified and was fully automatic.

Police said Wednesday that investigators believe one of the guns may have been used in several other shootings.

Andersen said that when he interviewed Singleton, he waived his right to a lawyer "and confessed to shooting McElroy in self-defense."

Singleton, also known as Damario Jamal Winford, is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland on Tuesday to be assigned an attorney and possibly enter a plea.