USF Player Died Trying to Steal Pot: Cops

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    An Oakland man has been charged with murder for the shooting  death of former University of San Francisco basketball player Hyman Taylor  Jr. during what prosecutors believe was a failed attempt to rob a marijuana  dealer.

    The shooting occurred at about 7:30 p.m. last Tuesday in the  parking lot of the Ikea furniture store at the border of Emeryville and  Oakland.

     Alameda County Chief Deputy District Attorney Tom Rogers  identified the man charged in Taylor's death as 20-year-old Cassidy O'Connor.

     Rogers said Taylor, O'Connor, a 27-year-old San Francisco man and  a fourth person, a woman, arranged to meet a female marijuana dealer in the  Ikea parking lot.

    Rogers said O'Connor, Taylor and the two others planned to steal a  large quantity of marijuana from the dealer but when they started to do so,  the woman's male protector, who had been lurking in nearby bushes, fired at  Taylor's group, hitting Taylor and the San Francisco man.

    Taylor, 23, of Oakland, was pronounced dead at the scene and the  San Francisco man was taken to a hospital with critical injuries.

    Rogers said the man is expected to survive but is still so badly  hurt that he can't talk.

    Taylor and the San Francisco man were both armed with guns but it  isn't clear if they fired shots, Rogers said.

    Although O'Connor is not suspected of shooting anyone, Rogers said  he charged him with homicide under a state law that considers it murder to  participate in a felony in which someone is killed.

    The Ikea store's entrance is at 4400 Shellmound St. in Emeryville  but its parking lot is in Oakland, so Oakland police investigated the crime.

    The investigation led to O'Connor, who admitted his involvement in  the alleged robbery gone wrong, Rogers said.

    The woman who was with Taylor, O'Connor and the San Francisco man  was cooperative with police and gave a statement, Rogers said. She's being  held in custody for violating her probation in another case, he said.

    The female dealer and her male protector haven't yet been located,  Rogers said.

    A .22-caliber gun that was registered to Taylor was found next to  his body, according to Rogers.

    O'Connor was scheduled to be arraigned at the Wiley Manuel  Courthouse in Oakland today on murder and robbery charges.

    Rogers said Taylor, O'Connor and their two accomplices hooked up  with the drug dealer through an online medical marijuana marketplace called  Budtrader.com.

    Taylor, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was a 6-foot-9-inch,  245-pound center who last played for its basketball team in the 2008-09  season. A USF spokesman said today that Taylor had been pursuing a degree in  sociology but never graduated.