Oakland police identify officer, suspect in fatal officer-involved shooting

OAKLAND (BCN)

UPDATE 5:32 P.M. —  A man who was shot and killed by police in a confrontation near Lake Merritt last week had previously been arrested on suspicion of stalking a woman and decapitating a goose, according to court documents.

Officers identified the man as 30-year-old Yonas Alehegne. He was arrested earlier this year on suspicion of cruelly wounding an animal and resisting arrest on July 14, 2015, according to court documents.

In a police report, Officer Terryl Smith wrote that he responded to the 600 block of Bellevue Avenue at Lake Merritt to investigate a report of someone mutilating a goose.

Smith found a man, later identified as Alehegne, kneeling over the decapitated body of a goose.

He ordered Alehegne to the ground and Alehegne reportedly told the officer, “I am hungry and tired and want to eat the goose,” according to the police report.

Alehegne was transported for mental health treatment before being booked in Santa Rita Jail, according to the report.

Roughly a year prior, on Aug. 16, 2014, Alehegne had been arrested for stalking a woman.

On Thursday, just before 7 a.m., Oakland police Officer Jennifer Farrell was continuing an investigation into an assault in the 200 block of MacArthur Boulevard that had been reported earlier in the evening.

Farrell had completed an interview of the assault victim and was driving away when she spotted Alehegne, who police said matched the description of the suspect in the assault.

Farrell got of the vehicle and before she could speak to Alehegne, police said Alehegne attacked her, swinging a chain and striking her in the head and face.

He continued to advance towards Farrell but police said Farrell shot and struck Alehegne, killing him.

Farrell, an 18-year veteran of the department, was transported to the hospital for injuries suffered to her head and face. Police said she has since been released from the hospital.

Per department protocol, the shooting is being investigated by its homicide and internal affairs division as well as by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

The incident marks the sixth officer-involved shooting in Oakland this year and the fourth that was fatal, police said.

 

An assault suspect who was fatally shot by an Oakland police officer in a confrontation near Lake Merritt last Thursday morning was identified by police today as 30-year-old Yonas Alehegne.

Police also identified the officer who fatally shot Alehegne in the 200 block of MacArthur Boulevard as Jennifer Farrell, an 18-year veteran of the department.

Oakland police didn’t say where Alehegne is from or release any other information about him.

Police said today that Farrell shot Alehegne because he had hit her multiple times with a metal chain when she tried to talk to him.

Police said Farrell went to a residential complex at the corner of MacArthur Boulevard and Van Buren Avenue at about 7 a.m. Thursday to follow up with the victim of an assault at the complex that had been reported a short time earlier.

Police Chief Sean Whent said on Thursday that the victim told the first officers who responded to the scene that the suspect had been trespassing in the complex’s garage. When the victim asked him to leave, he assaulted her, according to Whent.

The responding officers, who were working the overnight shift, took some initial information from the victim but couldn’t find the suspect and then left the area, Whent said.

Oakland police said today that Farrell, who was beginning her day shift, did a follow-up interview with the victim.

Police said that as Farrell got into her patrol car and began driving away, Alehegne, who matched the victim’s description of the suspect, stepped from the sidewalk onto the roadway in front of her car.

According to police, when Farrell got out of her car she was immediately assaulted by Alehegne, who began hitting her in the head and face with a chain.

Police said Alehegne continued to advance at Farrell while swinging the chain, so the officer discharged her service weapon, striking Alehegne, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Farrell was transported to a hospital, where she was treated for trauma to the head and face, according to police. She has since been released.

In accordance with Oakland Police Department policy, the shooting is being investigated by its homicide and internal affairs division as well as by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

Oakland police said the incident is the sixth officer-involved shooting in their city this year and the fourth that was fatal.

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