Staff writers

OAKLAND -- An Oakland police officer responding to an armed robbery outside a downtown restaurant Wednesday night shot a teenager who turned out to have nothing to do with the crime, police said Thursday.

The teen, age 15 or 16, was not seriously injured when his jaw was grazed by a bullet, and he was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and released, said Sgt. Arturo Bautista.

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, police Chief Howard Jordan said the officer had "received a threat" from the teen and fired a single shot. Jordan declined to say what the threat was or how far the teen was from the officer.

Officers were called about 9:50 p.m. to investigate an armed robbery in the 1000 block of Clay Street and were given descriptions of three suspects -- all black men, ages 22-26, Jordan said. He said one of the men wore a black hooded sweatshirt.

A woman told officers she walked out of Le Cheval, a bustling downtown Vietnamese restaurant, and was robbed at knifepoint by the three men. The restaurant was closed at the time of the robbery.

Minutes later, witnesses pointed officers in the direction of three people who matched those descriptions who were approaching another possible victim on a nearby street.


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Jordan said it appeared the suspects were about to rob the victim. A second robbery did not take place, Jordan said, but at 10:08 p.m. someone reported shots fired on the 1000 block of Jefferson Street -- about one block from where the woman was robbed at knifepoint.

One officer said that as they were questioning possible witnesses, a teen on Jefferson issued the threat, and the officer fired a single shot, Jordan said.

There were two other teens at the scene, but they were not hit. The teenager who was hit suffered a grazing wound to the lower right jaw, Jordan said. All three teens are from Oakland.

Jordan said no weapons were found on any of the teenagers and they were not involved in the earlier armed robbery.

No officers were injured during the incident, Bautista said.

The Oakland police major crimes unit and internal affairs division are investigating the incident, police said.

Anyone with information about the armed robbery is asked to call 510-238-3821.

Staff writer Kristin J. Bender contributed to this report.