OAKLAND (BCN) — Two ex-convicts have been charged with attempted murder in connection with an incident in which shots were fired at an off-duty Oakland police officer as he drove on Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland last week, prosecutors said.
The officer, who wasn’t injured, was driving south on Highway 880 near the 16th Avenue exit at about 11:40 p.m. last Wednesday when someone started shooting at his vehicle, police said.
The officer’s vehicle was struck by gunfire but the officer wasn’t hit, according to police.
Patrol officers located the suspects’ vehicle, a rented Ford Explorer, and tried to pull it over, but the vehicle’s driver refused to stop and a pursuit ensued that went into East Oakland, police said.
The suspects’ Ford Explorer was later found abandoned in the 5700 block of Brookdale Avenue. The suspects weren’t arrested at that time but were eventually located and arrested, police said.
The suspected shooter, 33-year-old Tsigab Hailesilassie, was arrested in the 9800 block of Edes Avenue and the suspected driver, 37-year-old Johnny Robinson of Berkeley, was arrested in the 2900 block of Fruitvale Avenue, Officer Hector Jimenez wrote in a probable cause statement.
Oakland police haven’t said whether the suspects knew they were targeting an off-duty officer.
In addition to being charged with attempted murder, Hailesilassie, who works in home care, is charged with being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and Robinson, who works as a desk clerk, is charged with evading a police officer.
Prosecutors say Robinson has six prior felony convictions, all for the possession or sale of drugs.
Prosecutors say Hailesilassie has three prior convictions, one each for unlawfully taking a vehicle, possession of a firearm by an ex-felon and having a concealed firearm on his person.
The two suspects were arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court on Monday.
Hailesilassie was scheduled to return to court today to finalize his legal representation and Robinson is scheduled to return to court on March 16 to enter a plea.