Police Statement on Fatal Shooting of Erik Salgado Claims He Rammed CHP Vehicles, Doesn't Say He Was Armed

Vanessa, a sister of Erik Salgado, joins a march near Elmhurst United Middle School in Oakland during a vigil and march for her brother who was killed by CHP officers on June 6. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

The Oakland Police Department released a statement late Tuesday regarding the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Oakland native Erik Salgado by California Highway Patrol officers late last Saturday night.

Few details on the incident, which took place on the 9600 Block of Cherry Street in East Oakland, had been released previously by law enforcement. Salgado's neighbors and family members — many of whom joined a march and vigil which drew hundreds of demonstrators demanding justice for him on Monday — have said Salgado died after CHP officers fired a hail of bullets at the vehicle he was driving, also injuring his pregnant girlfriend in the passenger seat.

According to the preliminary findings released by the Oakland Police Department, CHP was conducting a follow-up investigation of an earlier shooting when officers observed a red, late-model Dodge Challenger Hellcat “driving recklessly." After checking the license plate, the report states that CHP was alerted of a lost/stolen plate that did not match the car, which prompted a traffic enforcement stop.

When the CHP officers exited their vehicles, “the driver of the Dodge Hellcat began ramming CHP vehicles,” the report said. Three CHP officers then “discharged their firearms in the direction of the driver of the Dodge Hellcat." The driver — identified as Erik Salgado — later succumbed to the multiple gunshot wounds he sustained.

The report mentions, but does not identify, the female passenger who also suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to a local hospital where she is currently listed in stable condition. The injured female passenger has been identified by family members and Berkeleyside as Salgado's pregnant girlfriend.

Sponsored

Organizers of Monday's vigil demanded the officers involved be immediately identified and detained, and called the incident “no less than a public execution,” claiming that CHP officers fired more than 40 rounds at Salgado's car.

The Oakland police report does not specify how many rounds the unidentified CHP officers fired, nor does it make any mention of whether Salgado was armed or whether officers thought he had a firearm.

The report states that investigators confirmed the Dodge Challenger was one of 74 vehicles stolen from a San Leandro dealership on June 3.

The Oakland Police Department is the primary investigating agency in the shooting. Independent investigations are also being undertaken by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office and the CHP.

The shooting and demonstration took place as protests against police violence continue across the Bay Area and the nation, ignited by the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed by Minneapolis police on May 25.