OAKLAND (CBS SF) — As tensions began to soar on the streets of Oakland Friday night, a gunman opened fired on two Federal Protective Service officers posted at the city’s federal building, killing one of them and sending the other to the hospital with critical injuries.
In a statement to KPIX, the FBI said the incident occurred at around 9:45 p.m.
“A vehicle approached the building,” the statement read. “An individual inside the vehicle began firing shots at contracted security officers for the Federal Protection Service of the Department of Homeland Security. One officer was killed and another injured.”
The Oakland police tweeted Friday night that they did not believe the shooting was related to the violence that would later break out on the nearby streets during a demonstration sparked by the police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
In an email to KPIX 5 early Saturday, Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson could not confirmed the tweet – “Still under investigation, unknown if related.
At a news conference in Washington, DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf called the slaying of the officer an assassination.
“As of late we have witnessed an outright assault on our law enforcement community,” Wolf said. “Last night in Oakland, California, an assassin cowardly shot two Federal Protective Service contractors as they stood watch over a protest. One officer was killed, the other is in critical condition…Let me express my deepest condolences to the family members of these two FPS contractors.”
Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, called acts like the Oakland shooting an “act of domestic terrorism.”
“Let me be clear,” he said. “When someone targets a police officer or a police station with an intention to due harm and intimidate that is an act of domestic terrorism. Fighting terrorism was the very reason for the founding of the Department of Homeland Security. And I said earlier we will stand behind out law enforcement officers here in the department and all over America.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom also expressed his condolences to the slain officer’s family.
“This is a moment of pain for our state and nation,” he said. “We are also mourning the tragic loss of a federal security officer and wounding of another in Oakland. Jennifer and I send our sincere condolences to their families, friends and colleagues. No one should rush to conflate this heinous act with the protests last night. A federal investigation is underway, and we should let that process play out.”
At last 18 people were arrested, six Oakland police officers were injured, buildings damaged, a freeway blocked, a Walgreens looted and a fire set at Mercedes Benz Oakland during the hours of violence that erupted following what had been a peaceful demonstration by a crowd estimated to be at least 7,500.
U.S. Marshals, Homeland Security and FBI agents were leading the investigation into the shooting that took place at the large federal complex including the federal courthouse located at 12th and Clay streets.
Video show windows shattered at the main entrance to the facility and large presence of federal law enforcement officials around the building.
Bullet holes were also seen at the guardhouse behind 12th St. and Jefferson St.