Former Oakland PD captain Ersie Joyner still has lead in him from the day he suffered 22 bullet wounds at a Chevron station shakedown in West Oakland in October, but is back to full health and just gave his first interview describing what happened that day.
Not many people endure 22 bullet wounds in a single afternoon and live to tell of that incident. But when retired Oakland Police Department captain Ersie Joyner was shot up thoroughly during an attempted robbery at a West Oakland Chevron station in October, he was left in critical condition. The 52-year-old retired captain — who ironically had spent more than ten years working on the city's Ceasefire strategy to prevent gun violence — explains in his first interview since the incident with KTVU that doctors were nor even able to tell him how many times he had been shot.
"They can’t tell me how many times I was shot because many of them are through-and-through wounds," Joyner told KTVU, describing how a couple of bullets went through his thigh and out the other side, leaving a total of four holes. "I’m just happy to be alive," he added, saying "I thought I was going to die several times. I thought for sure this was it. I want to glorify God in his greatness, and it’s His grace that I survived that."
There is still one bullet in Joyner’s back, and he’ll always carry bullet wounds and scars on his ankle, back, torso, thighs, and even his toes. He was filling the gas tank of his SUV before catching a flight on October 21, as Joyner serves in his post-retirement career as a cannabis dispensary law enforcement liaison and security consultant (he’s co-owner at a cannabis manufacturing facility), and also serves as a consultant for television show that cover police work.
Joyner admits in his KTVU interview that he was paying more attention to the Southwest Airlines flight app on his phone than his surroundings at the time of the incident — he was about to fly out for a consulting job in LA. "This particular day, I was so engrossed with everything else," he told KTVU, "I didn’t even see the car pull into the gas station, which if I had, would have been a totally different outcome."
That car had three suspects, in ski masks, who immediately confronted Joyner and shook him down for his wallet, necklace, and cash. While Joyner complied, he says he heard a suspect say "Shoot him and take his truck," and that this was “at least the seventh time” that one of the suspects suggested that they shoot him. Joyner was being held at gunpoint, and carrying a Glock in his waistband. Fearing they would find it, he admits he shot first.
He would end up shooting and killing 20-year-old Desoni Djuan Lamar Gardner of Vallejo. The two other suspects, plus their getaway driver, were all arrested a month later. Joyner has not been charged, and is not considered guilty of any crime.
But he has been tasked with a very challenging physical rehabilitation schedule, which KTVU covers in detail. That's going well, apparently well enough that the only lasting physical ailment Joyner currently suffers — just a few months after this major trauma — is stiffness in his pinky finger.
But there is one other lasting effect of the shooting. According to KTVU, Joyner is “never going to fill up with gas at that particular Chevron station again.”
Related: Oakland Police Head to Sacramento and Houston to Arrest Three Men Suspected In Gas Station Robbery/Shooting [SFist]
Image: Security footage via Oakland PD