Just witnessed a shooting at West Oakland Bart station. 2 police men. 1 black man. pic.twitter.com/GijZ40ARq3
— Akshay Dodeja (@dodeja) September 2, 2015
A man smoking on a northern California subway platform shot himself in the stomach when he was confronted by police officers and reached for the gun in his waistband.
According to a Daily News report, the man was approached by Bay Area Rapid Transit police officers at the West Oakland station. The officers asked him to put out his cigarette because smoking on the platform is prohibited.
The man gave the BART officers false names, then started acting erratically and began making threats. At one point, he threatened to jump on the tracks and commit suicide.
The threat to commit suicide prompted the officers to attempt to take him into custody, but he violently resisted them.
The man, who has not yet been identified by the police, reached into his waistband for his gun and an officer fired a stun gun at the suspect.
A witness on the opposite platform recorded the aftermath on his cell phone. “Just witnessed a shooting at West Oakland Bart station. Heard a bang,” Akshay Dodeja wrote on Facebook. “Then saw 2 cops and a black man on the ground. He was also tazed. The guy was yelling ‘they shot me … they shot me.’ Bizarrely the cop yelled back ‘he shot himself.’”
The police allege that the man discharged his weapon when he was shocked by the Taser. The man was quickly transported to an area hospital where he was treated for the wound. He is in critical condition.
In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, BART Deputy Police Chief Jeff Jennings said, “We don’t know what his motive was, but what we have right now, is that he shot himself.” Jennings also added that “I can’t make the assumption that it was accidental or purposeful. The person was acting erratically, and he was resisting violently. So I can’t make that leap of why he pulled the trigger on himself.”
According to officials, the police officers at the scene were wearing body cameras that captured the incident, and footage provided by witnesses at the scene confirms that the man shot himself. Police officials also confirmed that the two officers’ guns were checked, and neither weapon was fired.
The subway station was closed for hours while authorities investigated the scene but was re-opened later on Tuesday.
The incident is under investigation by police, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, and the BART independent police auditor.