OAKLAND -- Friends and family are grieving the death of two men killed by Oakland police after a shootout Wednesday night on a narrow street in East Oakland.
Officers fatally shot the two men during an unspecified operation by police and drug enforcement agents, authorities said.
The shooting occurred about 10:30 p.m. in the 3000 block of Curran Avenue, between 35th and Coolidge avenues, in the Upper Fruitvale neighborhood.
Police found a third suspect about two hours later hiding under a tree in the backyard of the home where the shooting occurred. Charges have not been filed, but because he was on parole police are holding him.
Authorities said they believe the incident was "gang-affiliated."
Thearea is a known hot spot for drugs and is a couple blocks outside the Fruitvale gang injunction zone. The zone boundary follows Brookdale Avenue.
Late Thursday morning, distraught family members gathered outside the empty home where the shootings occurred and where blood stains and shell casings still littered the street and lawn.
"He's been trying to steer clear of Oakland and get his life together," said Michelle Heard, girlfriend of Fletcher "Antoine" Jackson, 30, one of those killed in Wednesday night's shooting.
Heard said she and Jackson lived in El Cerrito and have a 5-year-old son.
"There would be no reason for him to even be around here," she said.
None of the officers involved suffered injuries. Police
In a brief statement released Thursday afternoon, police said officers responded to a tip they received at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday that a violent crime was planned near the 3000 block of Curran Avenue.
Officers arrived and spotted the vehicle occupied by Jackson and the two other men. They ordered the car to stop. Two of the men emerged from the vehicle with firearms, police said, and one fled into a nearby yard while officers shot the other two after a confrontation. Police withheld their names until they could confirm their identities and notify family.
Jackson's aunt, Margie Turner, of Oakland, said they knew the other man killed and that he and Jackson were like brothers.
Jackson, she said, had been shot before but was not a violent man.
"I don't care what he was, what kind of life he lived. He didn't have to go down like some slayed dog."
His sister Robin Cobb, of Sacramento, was stunned. "I can't believe that my brother's gone. That's the main sad thing."
By Thursday evening, a single candle and shattered glass were the only traces left of the shooting.
Orlin Dale, whose house sits next door to where the shooting happened, said he looked outside his living room window when the gunfire erupted at about 10:30 p.m.
He said he saw Jackson leaning against the curb, handcuffed and bleeding through his white T-shirt from a wound to his side. Less than an hour later he stepped outside and found a man shot in the head on the cement walkway that leads from the front stairs, along the side of the house to the backyard. It was after 11 p.m. Neither man had received first aid, Dale said. Authorities were focused on finding the third suspect.
"It was terrible," Dale said "I don't know what they did but it didn't justify being killed."
Police said the men died despite receiving medical aid.
The Oakland Police Department Homicide Unit, Alameda County District Attorney's Office and Internal Affairs Division routinely investigate officer-involved shootings and have begun looking into the incident.