Oakland Bishop Says He Was Robbed at Gunpoint

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Oakland Bishop Michael Barber told his parishioners he was robbed at gunpoint over the weekend.

Barber is sharing his story to bring awareness and an end to gun violence -- a problem he has been very vocal about.

"I take a walk in the afternoon and say the rosery, a man pulled a gun on me, pointed it at me and said give me your wallet," Barber said in front of his congregation at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. "I was terrified."

The bishop said he was robbed at gunpoint of his wallet filled with cash by a man on a bike, near the stage door outside the Paramount Theatre on Saturday afternoon.

"Then he saw my ring and said give me that ring," Barber said. "I was afraid. I'd rather have my life, so I gave him the ring."

The bishop said he felt compelled to tell his story, but the fact that he is speaking out may not surprise people who know him.

"I think most of the time he wears his collar, it seems like people would know he was clergy, and it's horrifying," Oakland resident Ronnie McInerney said. "He's such a great man."

Not only a man of faith, but a man well known in the Oakland community. Barber makes his way into areas plagued with gun violence, organizing "Stop the Violence" walks and prayer services.

Earlier this month, Barber issued a statement on the crisis in Oakland. He said he feels that violence is fueled by a proliferation of guns in homes and on the streets.

"We are and have seen an increase in robberies," Oakland Police Department Public Information Officer Johnna Watson said. "Right now we are looking at a 50% increase from last year. We are asking our community, if you see something, say something."

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