OAKLAND -- The Oakland police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Alan Blueford will not face criminal charges as the Alameda County District Attorney's office determined the shooting was justified.
In a report released Tuesday, District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said she agreed with the conclusions of a senior deputy district attorney who investigated the shooting and found that Officer Miguel Masso had an "actual and reasonable belief that he or others in the area were about to be shot by Mr. Blueford."
The shooting death of Blueford has caused major disruptions at City Hall as family members and supporters have accused the police department of covering up for Masso and have claimed that the shooting death of the 18-year-old was unjustified.
The group has held several rallies since Blueford was killed, including a raucous gathering at a City Council meeting last month which disrupted proceedings and led Council President Larry Reid to shut down the meeting.
The family has also filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
John Burris, the family's attorney, said he was not surprised by the report's findings and said it has no bearing on the federal wrongful death lawsuit filed against the city. Burris continues to maintain that Blueford did not point his gun at Masso.
"It's a typical response," Burris said of the report. "It's outrageous to me to accept the notion that on one or two occasions this young man
But the district attorney's report found that Masso did nothing wrong in the early morning hours of May 6 when he chased Blueford on foot and eventually shot him three times.
The 18-page-report includes a summary of statements from 39 civilian witnesses and from two officers involved in the chase and shooting -- Masso and Officer Joe Fesmire. It also includes a description of evidence taken from the scene including an analysis of the Sig Sauer 9 mm semi-automatic pistol that the report said Blueford pointed at Masso.
That pistol was stolen from a peace officer's home in Mountain House during a residential burglary on Nov. 29, 2011, just 12 miles from Blueford's home in Tracy. Burris said that fact does not prove that Blueford stole the gun.
In addition, the report states, Blueford's fingerprints and DNA were found on the pistol.
"Given the totality of the circumstances as presented and corroborated by other witnesses and the physical evidence recovered, it appears that Officer Masso actually and reasonably believed he was in imminent danger of great bodily injury or death," wrote the report's author, Senior Deputy District Attorney Kenneth Mifsud. "There is a lack of evidence to support a prosecution against him."
Masso's encounter with Blueford began just after midnight on May 6 when he and Fesmire noticed three African-American males congregating on the 1900 block of 90th Avenue in East Oakland, according to the report.
Two of the men told investigators that they did not know Blueford but had agreed to purchase marijuana from him when he asked if they were interested in purchasing drugs, the men told police, according to the report. Burris said the men lied to police and said he will prove that all three were friends.
Both officers said in statements that they believed that at least one of the men was carrying a gun based on their actions when they saw the officers in their marked police car, according to the report. Those actions included the men looking "back nervously at the officers" and one of the men moving his right hand to his waistband.
Mifsud wrote that the officers believed that the group was trying to conceal a handgun and as a result decided to approach to investigate.
Upon contacting the three men, Mifsud wrote, they immediately handcuffed one of the men, Ronell Obelton, and told Blueford and the other man, Alonzo Turner, to sit on the sidewalk and wait.
As the investigation continued, the report states, Blueford stood-up and began to run away. Masso gave chase, yelling at Blueford, "Stop. This is the police."
During the foot chase, Masso said, he saw Blueford pull a "dark object" from his waistband and Masso said he "knew it" was a gun. As Blueford continued running, Masso said he saw the front side of the gun in the 18-year-old's right hand, the report states.
Masso eventually caught up with Blueford in front of a home at 9230 Birch Street where a birthday party was underway, the report states. At that point, Masso fired his first shot.
"Mr. Blueford turned clockwise and pointed his gun directly at Officer Masso, making direct eye contact," the report states. "This was the first time that a gun had been pointed at Officer Masso, and he stated that it was the first time in his life that he thought someone was going to kill him."
Masso said that moment, "scared the living crap out of me," the report states.
Masso goes on to explain that when he saw Blueford point the gun at him he "believed that there were no options available other than the use of his firearm.
"Officer Masso explained that he took this shot because he believed that his life was in danger after making eye contact with Mr. Blueford and that if he did not shoot, he would be killed," the report continues.
Masso said he was not sure if his first shot hit Blueford but took additional shots because, as Blueford laid on the ground on his back he pointed the Sig Sauer gun at Masso again, the report states.
"While Mr. Blueford was down, two other civilian witnesses who were next to the car, saw Mr. Blueford holding a gun in his hand and one (of) those two civilian witnesses observed Mr. Blueford pointing the gun at Officer Masso," Mifsud wrote in the report. "Officer Masso then shot at Mr. Blueford because he 'went into survival mode' believing he would be shot and killed."
Masso fired four shots that evening, three of which hit Blueford and one of which hit Masso in the foot.
Masso began working for the Oakland Police Department in 2008. He is a former military police officer with the U.S. Army and had worked for the Morgan Hill Police Department and the New York City Police Department before being hired by Oakland.