Just one day after BART police arrested 18-year-old Jabrie Bennett at his home at 8701 Hillside St. in Oakland, officers arrested his rival, 18-year-old Andre Smith, for his role in the shooting that killed 50-year-old Kenneth Lee Seets, BART Police Deputy Chief Ben Fairow said.
Smith was handed the charge at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where he and a 16-year-old boy, who was also present at the shooting, are in custody on unrelated weapons charges, Fairow said. The two have been serving time since a January traffic stop where firearms were found in their car.
Bennett and Smith were charged Tuesday with murder and assault with a deadly weapon, Fairow said. Bennett was also charged with possession of narcotics for sale after police found 13 balloons filled with heroin in his East Oakland home, according to Oakland police.
A probable cause statement released by Fairow on Tuesday revealed that Bennett began firing shots following "a brief antagonistic conversation" with Smith's younger brother in the bus connection area of the BART station about 12:30 p.m.
According to the statement, Smith had the loaded handgun in his waistband when he arrived with his younger brother and another friend who was a minor. He lifted his jacket, grabbed for the gun and walked toward Bennett.
Bennett, who was with his girlfriend, 18-year-old Antilea Beal and another juvenile male and female, set his red duffel bag down on a bench, unzipped it and grabbed a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle. He then opened fire, grazing Beal once in the back of the head, and hitting Seets in the middle of his chest. Seets, a truck driver for a Hayward-based plastics plant, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Beal, who was treated for injuries to her scalp and released, left the hospital and immediately went on the run with Bennett, police said in February. The 18-year-old woman turned herself in to police for questioning before Bennett's arrest; Fairow said Tuesday she had warrants unrelated to the shooting.
AC Transit supervisor Larry Glenn was standing just steps away from Seets, who was sitting on a bench near the bus loading zone, when a fellow driver asked for his help fixing a fare machine. Glenn said he had taken only a few steps when he heard shots ring out behind him.
"I went to the girl first, who had what looked like blood on her white jacket. She said 'I've been shot!' but was alert, and had women with her. Then I was told about the man on the ground."
Glenn ran to Seets, who was lying facedown on the ground with a gunshot wound to his torso.
"He was on his belly facing his right side, his face on the ground in a dirt patch, and all I could hear was (that sounded like) snoring," Glenn recalled. "I kept saying 'Hang in there, they'll be here shortly.' I believe my voice was the last thing he heard."
Bennett and Smith were scheduled to be arraigned on their charges in a teleconference call from the jail at the Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
"It's very disheartening," Glenn said of the exchange of gunfire between the two groups of juveniles. "[Seets] was an innocent bystander. I just don't understand the easiness of how these kids do what they do."