Oakland officer fatally shoots man who attacked her with metal chain

A police officer in Oakland shot and killed a man Thursday after he attacked her several times with a metal bicycle chain, authorities said.

It was the fourth fatal shooting by Oakland police this year.


Shortly before 7 a.m., an officer responded to the 200 block of MacArthur Boulevard where a person reported being assaulted in a garage, according to the Oakland Police Department.

The officer, who has been with the department 18 years, conducted a preliminary investigation and could not locate the suspect, police said. But as she was about to leave the area, a man matching the description of the suspect walked in front of her patrol car, police said.

"The officer got out of the vehicle and was immediately assaulted by the suspect, who began hitting her in the head and face with a chain," police said.

At a news conference, Oakland police Chief Sean Whent said footage from the officer's body camera showed a "very, very dangerous" attack.

The officer fired her gun an unknown number of times, and the man was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity was not released pending notification of family.

Rebecca Ellis, a nearby resident, told KGO-TV Channel 7 the man was a regular figure in the neighborhood. Other neighbors told the station he slept where space was available. Ellis said she thought the man's death avoidable and said police should have used a Taser.

"I don't think what he did was worth his life being taken, just by knowing him personally," Ellis told the news station.

The officer was taken to a hospital for traumatic injuries to her face and head, police said. She remains in stable condition.

The shooting is being investigated separately by the police department and the Alameda County district attorney's office, which is customary in all police shootings.

Oakland had gone two years without a fatal police shooting, but that streak was broken in June, when police had an altercation with an armed man who was initially seen passed out in his car with a loaded weapon.

The second took place on Aug. 3 when officers approached a home to question a suspect in a reported sexual assault and he emerged firing a semiautomatic rifle. Police say the man discharged more than 30 rounds and seriously wounded a veteran sergeant, who has since undergone at least two surgeries.

On Aug. 12, an armed man was shot dead after leading authorities on an eight-mile pursuit in a car linked to an armed robbery.

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