Man with rifle and spray paint sparks bizarre standoff in Oakland

A man with a rifle who sprayed-painted graffiti on a home and a car triggered the closure of a major Bay Area highway Friday morning after residents reported gunshots near the Oakland Zoo, according the California Highway Patrol.

The incident began about 9 a.m. in the 9500 block of  Las Vegas Avenue in the neighborhood of Grass Valley, according to the Oakland Police Department.

“When officers arrived on scene, the suspect was in the street and began shooting at the officers,” said Officer Johnna Watson, a department spokeswoman.

Officers immediately took cover as the man with the rifle and scope fired multiple shots in the neighborhood, she said in a statement. 

“An Oakland officer discharged his firearm, but it is unknown if the suspect was hit,” Watson said. 

The man was taken to a hospital. His condition was not immediately known.

Social media showed photos of a man pointing a rifle out the window of a home, and spray-painting images of genitalia on a white car. KPIX-TV reported that he also spray-painted eyes on a garage door and fired shots toward a fence and helicopter.

The CHP briefly shut down the eastbound Interstate 580 after they tweeted, “Shots are still being fired” at 9:47 a.m.

Police shut down the I-580 offramp to Golf Links Road next to the Oakland Zoo because of the shooter, said zoo spokeswoman Erin Harrison.

The zoo got word about the gunman about 9:30 a.m., about 30 minutes before the zoo opens, she said.

The zoo opened its access roads so residents could leave the neighborhood because the main path to the freeway was closed, she said.

 

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Twitter: VeronicaRochaLA 

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UPDATES:

2:50 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Officer Johnna Watson, a spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department.

This article was originally published at 10:30 a.m.

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