Week’s Second Shooting Alarms North Oakland Neighbors

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday April 29, 2008 - 05:22:00 PM

An early Monday evening running gun battle left one man critically injured and police searching for a lime green car which had struck several cars during an exchange of gunfire with a pedestrian. 

The dramatic shootout happened on Whitney Street, between 59th and 60th Streets, and apparently concluded just doors away from the 59th Street home where a North Oakland man shot a burglar last week after he broke a front door window. 

Shattered bits of headlights and colored plastic littered Whitney Street, and a battered Honda Accord LX stood immobile on the street, bearing traces of the pale green paint left by the car used in the shooting. 

The neighborhood has seen a rash of violence in recent months, including two fatal shootings last fall and a fusillade of gunfire discharged into the air in the parking lot of a tavern on Shattuck Avenue just south of the 59th Street intersection two weeks ago, said one neighbor. 

In Tuesday night’s shooting, “the car hit several parked cars—including totaling the car of the owner of the house on Whitney that nearly burned down last Christmas,” reported one Whitney Street resident in an e-mail to neighbors. 

Another neighbor said that the suspect apparently tried to hide in yards in the neighborhood, finally ending up at the intersection of 59th and McCall streets, where he collapsed on the pavement. 

A third neighbor, who declined to speak for attribution, said Tuesday night’s incident was “really terrifying.” 

Police blocked off the street for an hour after the incident, and City Councilmember Jane Brunner came by to talk to neighbors, said Bob Brokl, a neighborhood resident. Brunner is facing opposition in her bid for reelection from 59th Street resident Patrick McCullough—who gained fame after he shot a 15-year-old in the arm three years ago. 

McCullough was not charged in that incident, in which he told police he had fired at the youth after he had been surrounded by 15 young men in his front yard who had been yelling “Kill the snitch” because of his campaign against neighborhood drug dealing. 

The council candidate said he had fired after the teenager told a companion, “Get me the pistol.” 

An Oakland Police spokesperson said he would contact the investigating officer and provide more information about the incident later.  

The earlier shooting, which happened April 22, occurred in the block west of Shattuck after a resident heard the sounds of breaking glass and found Nathan Cooper, 31, breaking in through the front door. 

Police said the resident told them he fired because he thought Cooper was attacking with a weapon. Cooper managed to stagger to the same parking lot where the shots had been fired a week earlier. 

He was taken to the hospital in serious condition, and later charged with burglary.