A California Highway Patrol officer is in critical but stable condition this afternoon after being shot at an Oakland Walgreens store this morning during a confrontation in which a suspected armed robber was killed.
A second suspected robber is in custody in connection with the incident, police said.
A manager at a Walgreens at 5505 Telegraph Ave., in the Temescal Plaza shopping center, flagged down two CHP officers in a patrol car at about 1:30 a.m. to report a robbery in progress, Oakland police spokesman Officer Jeff Thomason said. Oakland police were also called to the scene.
The CHP officers parked behind the store, where they heard banging sounds that could have been gunshots coming from inside, Thomason said. The two officers were still behind the store when they were confronted by a man with a gun, he said.
The suspect shot at the officers and they returned fire, Thomason said. One officer was hit several times and was taken to a hospital, Thomason said.
CHP Sgt. Trent Cross said it's too early in the investigation to determine whether the officer may have been injured by friendly fire. "We don't know whether friendly fire is a factor or not."
After shooting at the officers, the gunman ran to the front of the store, where he was confronted by a group of Oakland police officers who had surrounded the entrance, Thomason said.
The officers shot and killed the gunman.
Several people who were inside the store had come out by that time, Thomason said. Witnesses told police that three employees were still locked in a back room, and that a second suspect might still be inside.
A team of tactical officers surrounded the store and tried to communicate with the people inside, Thomason said. Police spoke to the employees by cell phone and officers performed a "limited entry" to get them out safely at about 5:30 a.m. Officers tried other means, including sending in a dog to determine if another suspect was inside.
Ultimately officers entered and searched the Walgreens and did not find anyone inside, Thomason said.
However, police have detained one of the people who came out of the store with the first group. The man "could be a possible suspect" and police are questioning him this afternoon, Thomason said.
his man's description, along with that of the gunman, could match the profiles a team wanted for armed robberies in the Bay Area, he said.
Police and the Alameda County coroner's bureau have not yet released the name of the gunman who was killed.
Police are also investigating another robbery at a nearby Walgreens that occurred at about 6 a.m. today. Two men robbed the store at Telegraph Avenue and 34th Street and Thomason said police are looking into whether the two events are connected.
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums released a statement this afternoon in response to the Walgreens shooting.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the California Highway Patrol officer who is said to remain in the hospital in critical condition," Dellums said.
"As a city, we will continue to remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent crime and violence, provide intervention services for the community, bolster enforcement, and further our efforts to bring lasting peace to our streets," he said.
Bay City News