Oakland CHP shooting: Driver rammed patrol vehicles with stolen car, police say

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OAKLAND – Authorities on Tuesday said the 23-year-old man who died in a police shooting in Oakland over the weekend rammed several California Highway Patrol vehicles with a recently stolen car before officers opened fire.

They also officially identified him as Erik Salgado, confirming information from the man’s friends and family.

Until Tuesday, law enforcement has been largely silent about the circumstances of the shooting, which also injured a pregnant woman. The lack of answers had sparked public outcry, which coalesced Monday in multiple protests and rallies, including one that saw at least 250 people march from Frank H. Ogawa Plaza to the Fruitvale BART station.

A Tuesday night news release from Oakland police said CHP officers were in East Oakland about 10:45 p.m. Saturday investigating a shooting from the previous night when they spotted a red 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat driving recklessly.

Police said the officers checked the license plate and were alerted to a lost or stolen plate that did not match the car. The officers then stopped the car in the 9600 block of Cherry Street.

“CHP officers advised they exited their vehicles to conduct a vehicle stop at which time the driver of the Dodge Hellcat began ramming CHP vehicles,” Oakland police said.

Three CHP officers fired their weapons in the direction of the driver, hitting him multiple times, according to the release.

A woman in the passenger seat was also hit by the gunfire, police said. She was rushed to a hospital, where she remains in stable condition. Police did not release her name Tuesday but relatives have identified her as Salgado’s pregnant girlfriend.

Oakland police did not identify the CHP officers who shot at Salgado.

Homicide investigators with the Oakland Police Department confirmed the Dodge was one of 74 vehicles stolen from a San Leandro dealership on the night of June 3, police said.

Multiple investigations into the shooting are currently underway, police said. The OPD Criminal Investigations Unit is handling the criminal probe, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is investigating the use of force and the CHP Critical Incident Investigation Team is conducting an internal administrative investigation.

The initial silence over the killing was notable at a time when police across the country are offering transparency in the hopes of regaining trust following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others.

“It’s just unacceptable to open fire with assault rifles in a residential community in East Oakland,” said Hoku Jeffrey, a national organizer of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary, in an interview Monday. “This just showed a clear disregard for human life.”

Check back for updates.

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Author: Jason Green