OAKLAND (CBS SF) — BART police Chief Kenton Rainey Wednesday released surveillance camera photos of the suspect in a fatal shooting on a train at the West Oakland station on Saturday night and asked for the public’s help in finding him.
The photos show the suspect as he was exiting the West Oakland station shortly after the shooting, which occurred on a San Francisco International Airport-bound train as it was approaching the West Oakland station at about 7:45 p.m. Saturday.
“We’re seeking the public’s help in identifying him. Somebody out there knows this individual,” Rainey said.
He said the shooting was “a pretty brazen, random act” and police want to catch the culprit.
The Saturday shooting happened at about 7:40 p.m. and brought transit through the Transbay Tube to a near standstill for hours.
The suspect in the shooting has been at large since the Saturday night incident. He was last seen fleeing the West Oakland BART station by the 99 Cent Store located at 1440 7th Street located directly across from the station.
BART police described the suspect as a bald black man in his late 20s to early 30s who is between 6 feet and 6 feet 4 inches tall with a skinny build and broad shoulders.
The suspect was last seen wearing a long green jacket with a hood, jeans, a dark backpack and tan hiking or construction style boots. He was armed with a black semi-automatic handgun.
Police said witnesses reported that the suspect used a handgun to shoot the victim multiple times and then fled on foot from the train at the West Oakland station.
Officers who responded to the shooting provided first aid to the victim but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rainey did not release many other new details about the case at Wednesday’s news conference at BART headquarters and said authorities are still having a hard time identifying the passenger who was shot dead.
KPIX 5 was given access to a photo of the victim on Wednesday that showed wounds in the neck and shoulder areas.
Joining Rainey at the news conference was a police investigator who said it appears that the male victim was between the ages of 19 and 25 and may have been Hispanic.
The shooting victim has been identified as Latino. KPIX 5 also received the following exclusive information about the victim. He had a Honduran identification card that turned out to be fake. While the photo on the ID card resembles the victim, the thumb print on the card does not match the victim’s thumb print.
Rainey said a knife was recovered at the shooting scene on the train but police don’t know if it belonged to the victim.
He said investigators don’t know what the motive was for the shooting and don’t know what kind of a relationship the suspect and victim had, if any.
Some passengers on board the train Saturday night took cell phone video capturing the terrifying moments after the shooting.
On Wednesday, BART police wouldn’t confirm whether or not they have their own surveillance video from that same car where the shooting took place and they wouldn’t comment on whether there are cameras on board every BART car.
“As far which ones are on the trains and where they’re positioned on the platform, that is a security information and I am not willing to give that out,” said Rainey.
But he said there are many surveillance cameras throughout the BART system that operate 16 hours a day.
Asked why it took four days for BART to release a photo of the suspect, Rainey said, “We were delayed because we’ve been working with our law enforcement officers to identify the suspect.”
Rainey said he understands that BART’s riders are concerned about the shooting but said shootings on trains are very rare and this is the first one that has happened in the six years he’s been chief.
Rainey also said serious crime on the BART system declined by 10 percent last year.
He said anyone with information about the suspect should call (510) 464-7040 and ask for Detective Sanchez or Sgt. Power or can call (510) 464-7011 to make an anonymous tip.
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