Police identify man shot after car chase, link him to gang activity
on December 21, 2010
The Oakland Police Department has identified the man shot and killed by two officers Monday afternoon in East Oakland after a car chase as 19-year-old Oakland resident Obataiye Edwards. At a press conference Tuesday, Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan said that the department was trying to prevent a gang-related shooting which officers were informed was set to occur yesterday in a West Oakland neighborhood known as “the ACORN.”
Police had been searching for a maroon Lincoln sedan believed to be connected to the planned shooting, which was also wanted in connection with a December 17 shooting in West Oakland. Undercover officers with the police’s Gang Task Force spotted the vehicle at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Sycamore Street, police said. But the driver did not stop when OPD officers attempted to pull the car over.
Officers in marked police cars joined the undercover officers, and the driver led the police on a three-mile chase on eastbound 580 through East Oakland. The chase ended when the vehicle careened into a house on the 1300 block of E 33rd Street. The suspects fled on foot immediately after the crash.
According to police, Edwards was shot and killed by two officers after drawing a handgun and aiming it at them. His gun, a .380 semi-automatic pistol, was recovered at the scene. A fully loaded SKS-style assault rifle was found in the abandoned sedan.
The two officers were not injured, according to a police statement released this afternoon. Police did not say how many times Edwards was shot. Edwards was not the car’s driver, according to police.
One other suspect is in police custody. His name is not being released because he is a juvenile. Two other suspects, described as African-American males between the ages of 17 and 19, are still at large.
Police said that all four men are members of the violent P-Team gang, a target of numerous operations by the Oakland Police Department. Police say that the gang’s members are all between the ages of 15 and 25 and their territory is said to be the 2600 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way in West Oakland.
“It’s unfortunate that these events highlight the need for the entire community to come together and stop these young people from carrying guns,” said Jordan.
There are currently three separate investigations into Monday’s events being conducted by the police department’s Homicide and Internal Affairs divisions, as well as the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. Both officers are currently on paid leave. “When incidents like this occur, we understand that it is of upmost importance to be open, honest and willing to participate in dialogue,” said Jordan.
Image: Oakland Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan tells reporters that yesterday’s car chase and shooting was a result of the department’s attempt to prevent a gang-related shooting.
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