OAKLAND -- A running gunbattle in broad daylight Friday between two Fremont police officers and a wanted felon left one officer wounded, frightened East Oakland residents and set off a multiple-county alert as the gunman eluded capture.
The officer was shot twice during an exchange of gunfire with a man identified by Fremont police as Andrew Barrientos, 20, who had a Union City address.
Officer Todd Young, a six-year veteran of the Fremont Police Department, was hit both times in the pelvic region. He remained in critical condition on Saturday.
The conflict began about 2:30 p.m., when the two Fremont officers arrived outside a bungalow in the 2000 block of Auseon Avenue near Bancroft Avenue to serve a search warrant on Barrientos, Oakland deputy police chief Eric Breshears said.
Barrientos is believed to be a Union City gang member and is on probation, authorities said. He was wanted on a $75,000 felony warrant for evading police and he was wanted by the San Leandro Police Department for carjacking his girlfriend's vehicle and kidnapping her.
According to police:
The two Fremont officers were part of a multiagency task force created a year ago when officials consolidated old drug and gang enforcement units.
They were acting on information that Barrientos was at the East Oakland house. They were still on the street when they saw him pull up in a vehicle. He tried to flee and shot at the officers. They returned fire, but a bullet struck Young. Other officers transported him to the hospital.
Barrientos fled on foot. He tried unsuccessfully to carjack a vehicle a few blocks away. He shot at the driver of the vehicle but didn't manage to get the car, police said. The driver was injured by glass from the shattered car window.
Barrientos then fled on foot to a liquor store in the 8600 block of Bancroft Avenue where he carjacked a 1999 green Mazda with the California license plate 4MJE548. The driver of that vehicle was not hurt. The Mazda was last seen going west on Bancroft. No Oakland officers were involved in serving the search warrant. But dozens of police officers from all over the city rushed to the area and numerous streets were shut down until 4:30 p.m. while a SWAT unit and other officers searched for the gunman.
The shooting unnerved residents in the area where it happened. One man heard a bullet pierce the window of his bungalow on 86th Avenue -- a block away -- and whiz through the living room. He and his family dove to the floor and lay flat until the shooting ended. Another bullet shattered the driver-side window of his Toyota sedan parked outside and lodged in the roof. A young girl said she was sitting on the porch of a church nearby with the pastor and several other children when she heard the shots. The group ran for cover inside the church.
"Our hearts and prayers are with the Fremont police officer shot this afternoon, his loved ones, his fellow law enforcement officers and the City of Fremont family as they cope with this latest incident of senseless violence," Mayor Ron Dellums said in a written statement. "On behalf of the Oakland community, I thank him for his law enforcement service and express my deep regret that this dedication has resulted in injury on our streets. The violence in Oakland must stop. Our collective well-being depends on it."
Young served on the Newark police force for four years before joining the Fremont department. He is married and a father.