Man fatally shot near Occupy Oakland camp
A man has died after being shot just outside the Oakland encampment that anti-Wall Street protesters have occupied for the last month.
Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan says the victim was pronounced dead at a local hospital Thursday evening, less than two hours after two groups of men got into a fight near the Occupy Oakland camp on a plaza near City Hall.
Jordan says no suspects have been identified. He asked members of the public participating in the protest who may have taken photographs or video that captured the shooting to contact authorities.
The chief says investigators do not yet know if the men in the fight were associated with Occupy Oakland. But protest organizers say they weren’t.
The shooting happened just before 5 p.m. on the edge of the plaza outside Oakland City Hill. The Occupy Oakland encampment sits in the middle of the plaza.
Paramedics on the scene were tending the bleeding man, whose condition wasn’t immediately known as it was earlier reported. Police were interviewing witnesses and trying to contain a crowd of protesters who had tried to prevent television cameramen from taking video.
A woman from the encampment, Barucha Peller, told CBS station KPIX San Francisco: “The only direct Occupy Oakland involvement was in order to provide emergency first-aid services.”
The shooting comes a day after a group of Oakland city and business leaders held a news conference demanding the removal of the encampment, saying that it has hurt downtown businesses and has continued to pose safety concerns.
Many protesters fear police will eventually move forward with another early morning raid to remove them. A tear gas-filled clash between demonstrators and police on Oct. 25 resulted in more than 100 arrests and left an Iraq War vet with a serious brain injury.
Mayor Jean Quan allowed the protesters to return to the encampment the day after that raid. The camp has since grown to about 180 tents.
But tensions and safety concerns have resurfaced in recent says, and on Wednesday, Quan asked members of the camp to show respect to the people of Oakland by peacefully leaving.
Earlier Thursday, a man was shot and killed at the Occupy Burlington protest in Vermont. Fellow protesters indicated that the gunshot appeared to be self-inflicted.