BART said late Tuesday the man shot himself with his own gun after struggling with the officers on the eastbound station platform. The man was taken to Highland Hospital in critical condition and reportedly underwent surgery.
BART reported in a statement that at about 8 p.m. Tuesday:
Officers approached a man smoking on the West Oakland platform and asked him to extinguish his cigarette. Smoking on a platform is prohibited per California Penal Code 64093. Upon further questioning, the man provided officers with false names, and then threatened to jump in front of an oncoming train.
Officers then made contact with the man, who resisted violently and reached for his waist. Officers tased the suspect, who then shot himself in the abdomen as he attempted to retrieve his weapon. The suspect was then transported to Highland hospital in critical condition, and West Oakland station was closed for a full investigation of events. Police have recovered the suspect's weapon and bullet casing from the scene.
BART later said the two officers involved in the episode were wearing body cameras and that investigators would review video from the devices.
KQED's Alex Emslie did a phone interview with Akshay Dodeja, a Mission District resident who was on his way to San Francisco when the episode unfolded on the platform across from where he was standing. Dodeja took still images and video of the shooting's aftermath that have been widely circulated online and in news media. Here's his acccount:
Dodeja: I was across the platform and I was looking away, and I heard basically like a pop, like a bang sound and some commotion, but I was looking at the other side, I saw a black man on the ground and there was a policeman on top of him, and the guy who was on the ground started yelling, ‘They shot me! They shot me!’ ”
Emslie: Was it a single sound or pop that you heard?
Dodeja: Yeah. I was a little confused because the policeman had a taser. He definitely got tased.
Emslie: How do you know that he got tased? Did you see him get tased?
Dodeja: I saw the Taser strings coming out of the guy.
Emslie: OK. So then what happened?
Dodeja: Then basically the guy was pretty quiet. The policemen were kind of talking to him. I couldn’t really hear what was going on from the other side. I think the police were checking on the guy to see what his condition was. Then the station started shutting down.
Emslie: Did the police ask you to leave?
Dodeja: There were no police on the other side of the platform where I was. At some point I just went down. The last thing I saw was, there was a stretcher that was up, and the man was being put on the stretcher and he was being carried down.
Emslie: At any point in time when you saw him, was he conscious?
Dodeja: I did see him on the stretcher downstairs, West Oakland BART. … He was carried down and out of the West Oakland BART Station. I saw blood on his back and stomach. He was wearing a white shirt, and he was conscious.