A man was killed Sunday after he pointed a fake gun toward Oakland police officers at an illegal gathering of hundreds of cars racing and performing stunts, officials said.
Officers were towing cars involved in a so-called sideshow, an illegal vehicle stunt exhibition, in the area of 90th and Bancroft avenues about 5:30 p.m., when the man approached them and pointed what appeared to be a gun in their direction, according to the Oakland Police Department.
Several officers discharged their weapons without exchanging words, fatally striking the 39-year-old man, police said. No officers were injured.
Officers performed CPR on the man until paramedics arrived, police said. The man’s name has not been released. Police later said the man’s gun was a replica.
“It is absolutely made to look like a real pistol,” Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent said.
The officers were wearing body cameras, but the cameras were not turned on at the time, he said. The cameras were turned on after the shooting, he said.
Whent said the Police Department’s body camera policies do not require the devices to be turned on at all times. The cameras must be turned on when an officer is approaching or contacting a person, he said.
In this case, the officers were filling out paperwork and didn’t approach the man, Whent said. The man approached the officers.
He said the officers were shocked when they found out the gun wasn’t real.
Earlier Sunday, nearly 700 cars were involved in a sideshow on Interstate 880, the Oakland Tribune reported. The California Highway Patrol said two people were arrested and 10 vehicles were impounded. One of the two people arrested led police on a 2-½ mile pursuit before voluntarily stopping, CHP officials said.
Sideshows are usually announced on Facebook, making them “logistically challenging” for police to plan for in advance, Whent said.
The Alameda County district attorney’s office and Oakland police are investigating the shooting.
“The Oakland Police Department is committed to transparency,” the department said in a statement. “However, a complete investigative process requires information be limited in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation. For this reason, only those preliminary details that do not compromise the investigation can be released at this time.”
Mayor Libby Schaaf called for more state resources to help combat illegal sideshow events in Oakland, which she said draws hundreds of drivers from other states.
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