OAKLAND – A 17-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of shooting an Oakland police officer in the head last month, police said.
Terrence Hunter of Oakland is set to be arraigned today in Alameda County Superior Court on charges of attempted murder of a police officer and assault with a deadly weapon, according to Homicide Lt. Brian Thiem.
Officer Ilario Juarez, 30, stopped in front of the Mosswood Motel at 683 W. MacArthur Blvd. at about 2:45 a.m. on Sept.27 when he saw a group of individuals lingering in the motel’s driveway, police said.
When Juarez approached the group, one person immediately separated himself from the others and fired on the officer without provocation, police said. A bullet grazed Juarez’s head.
Following the shooting, homicide investigators and officers canvassed the neighborhood.
Hunter was stopped by police on that day and later arrested when a check revealed that he was wanted on a probation violation, Thiem said. He had been convicted of robbery and sentenced to stay at a group home, from which he allegedly fled.
“We did not know (Hunter) was the suspect, but we had a lot of rumor information out there and he was someone we were looking at,” Thiem said.
A week after the shooting, Officer Juarez was finally healthy enough to provide a statement on the incident and review photographs of possible suspects.
“Juarez identified (Hunter) as the person who shot him,” Thiem said. According to Thiem, investigators have located a witness who also identified Hunter as the alleged gunman.
Hunter had been in custody on the probation violation and was formally arrested Monday at Juvenile Hall in connection with the shooting of Juarez, police said. He is scheduled to be arraigned in adult court in Oakland on Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Thiem said investigators had probable cause to arrest Hunter within a couple of days of the shooting but waited until they had amassed proof of his alleged involvement beyond a reasonable doubt.
When confronted with the accusation, Hunter denied any connection to the shooting, Thiem said.
Thiem credited the arrest to tireless efforts by investigators.
“This case was not solved by a good citizen,” Thiem said. “This was solved by cops and the investigators beating the bushes out there, making happen.”
Thiem said Juarez could be released from the hospital this week. A police spokesman said the officer was fortunate that the bullet never penetrated the skull.