SAN FRANCISCO—On Friday night, May 29, one security officer was shot dead and another wounded when tensions began to mount from protests in Oakland.
The incident occurred at about 9:45 p.m., when a car pulled up outside the Ronald V. Dellums federal building on Clay Street, Oakland. A person inside the vehicle fired shots at the officers, killing one and critically injuring another.
Oakland Police and the FBI are collaborating to search for the attacker. They have not determined a motive yet, but they have labelled the incident as an act of “domestic terrorism”.
On Friday, protests broke out in Oakland as a response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis last week, on May 25. The shooting in Oakland took place close to the Oakland Police Headquarters, where demonstrators were gathered.
As tensions mounted, police declared that an “unlawful assembly” of protestors had formed at around 9:30 p.m., and tear gas was used in an attempt to disperse the crowd.
The deadly assault on officers occurred shortly after the tear gas was used on the crowd.
During a news briefing on Saturday, Chad Wolf, the acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security said “As of late we have witnessed an outright assault on our law enforcement community.” Wolf described the incident as “cowardly” as the suspect “shot two Federal Protective Service contractors as they stood watch over a protest.” Wolf believes that the suspect “took advantage of a peaceful protest” in order to carry out planned attacks on law enforcement.
The incident is still being investigated, and the FBI office in San Francisco released a statement that it will not provide any additional details to the investigation at this time.
“Any loss in the DHS family impacts all of us and I want the loved ones of these brave officers to know you have the support of the department behind you,” Wolf said.