Oakland Police looking for gunman who fired a shot during attempted robbery at MacArthur BART

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland police are looking for the gunman who pistol-whipped and tried to rob a man outside the MacArthur BART station.

Police dialed up their presence at MacArthur BART after the attempted robbery occurred on the sidewalk outside the station just after 7:30 Friday morning.

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"Officers learned that the suspect approached the victim and during this attempted robbery, struck him with a firearm," said Oakland police officer Felicia Aisthorpe.

It happened in the 400 block of 40th Street. Either during the attack or immediately after, the handgun the suspect was using went off.

No one was hit by the shot, and police are investigating whether it was an accidental discharge or the robber was shooting at the victim.

"The victim in the incident suffered minor injuries and is in the hospital," Aisthorpe said.

Herbert Jennings Jr. has sold lotions and oils at a stand inside the station for 20 years. He says it's not as bad as it used to be.

"It's nowhere near how it used to be. It's way, way more safe," he said.
But, BART rider Ariel Genovese is more nervous now.

"I do have a taser that I don't often carry with me, but it's definitely going to be living in my purse for a little while now" she said.

MacArthur BART is where 18-year-old Nia Wilson was attacked and killed by a man with a knife last July. His lawyer says the suspect, John Cowell is mentally unfit to stand trial. But, Oakland city Council member Dan Kalb says the city is working hard on crime reduction.

"We need to do better. We always need to do better to try to reduce the number of robberies. We're not going to eliminate all crime in this city or any other city. But, if we can reduce the number of violent crimes, which we're always trying to do, that's our goal" he said.

Police are checking surveillance video in hopes of identifying the gunman.

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