He was also tazed. I heard a pop then saw man on ground with 2 cops on him. Man yelled "they shot me.. They shot me" pic.twitter.com/TqLaDMeW4M— Akshay Dodeja (@dodeja) September 2, 2015
An altercation with an “erratic and violent” BART patron ended in injury Tuesday night, when a man standing on the West Oakland Station platform was tased by BART police, then reportedly shot himself.
According to a statement sent by BART late Tuesday night, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, BART police approached a man who was smoking on the platform, and asked him to put out his cigarette.
"Smoking on a platform is prohibited per California Penal Code 64093 and cause for citation," BART says in their statement.
The man, BART says, "provided officers with false names, and then threatened to jump in front of an oncoming train."
“Officers felt that he was being aggressive. He started moving away from officers, they grabbed him. At that time, a fight ensued. The suspect fought back the officers aggressively, had two officers on him. He started reaching for his waistband at this time,” BART deputy chief of operations Jeffery Jennings said at a press conference Tuesday night.
When police attempted to restrain him, the man "reached for his waist" in a way that suggested he had a gun, BART says. Officers tased the man, and he "then shot himself in the abdomen as he attempted to retrieve his weapon," BART says.
According to Jennings, “They went to tase him. At the same time he was tased, we are not quite sure of the time frame yet, he shot himself in the stomach."
"Our information is that he shot himself while grabbing the weapon out of his waistband. We don't know what his motive was, but that's what we have right now, is that he shot himself," Jennings said.
"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 BART, the man's weapon and bullet casing were recovered at the scene.
Both officers involved in the tasing and shooting were wearing body cameras, BART says, "and the footage is being reviewed." A call from SFist to ask when the footage will be released was not responded to at publication time.
According to a witness who spoke with CBS5, “I just saw two police officers struggling with this guy and he was partially over the wall. I turned to leave and then I heard a shot, and then I turned back and I heard him yelling, ‘they shot me,’ and then he just went cold, and then the police officers just sort of stood there for a minute, and then there was blood everywhere, and then one of the cops just started yelling, ‘He shot himself,’ and he just said that two or three times."
According to CBS5, both BART officers' "weapons were checked and it does not appear either weapon was fired in the incident."
KQED also spoke with Akshay Dodeja, a witness whose tweets from the scene you can see at the top and bottom of this report. He tells then that "I heard basically like a pop, like a bang sound and some commotion, but I was looking at the other side, I saw a black man on the ground and there was a policeman on top of him, and the guy who was on the ground started yelling, ‘They shot me! They shot me!’”
"He definitely got tased," Dodeja said. "I saw the Taser strings coming out of the guy."
"The last thing I saw was there was a stretcher that was up and the man was being put on the stretcher and he was being carried down...I saw blood on his back and stomach. He was wearing a white shirt, and he was conscious."
According to BART, the injured man was transported to Highland Hospital in critical condition. No updates on his condition were available as of Wednesday morning.
Though BART initially said that they expected to keep the West Oakland Station closed for the remainder of the evening, it reopened at around 11:30 Tuesday night.
UPDATE: West Oakland station is now open to the public for the remainder of service tonight. We appreciate your patience.— SFBART (@SFBART) September 2, 2015
"Any shooting is a tragedy," BART said in their statement, surely mindful of the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle at Fruitvale Station on New Year's Day 2009, "and we regret the incident having occurred."
According to BART, the Alameda County District Attorney and the BART Independent Police Auditor will investigate the incident.
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