Calif. Federal Officer Fatally Shot During Oakland Protests: 'This Violence Must Stop’
Officials have called the shooting "an act of domestic terrorism"
Authorities in Oakland, California, are searching for the suspect in a drive-by shooting that killed one federal security officer who was on patrol amid nationwide protests against the killing of George Floyd.
"Last night in Oakland, California, an assassin cowardly shot two federal protective service contractors as they stood watch over a protest," Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said during a press conference.
One officer succumbed to his injuries while the other was hospitalized and remained in critical condition as of Saturday.
According to authorities, on Friday at 9:45 p.m, a van drove up outside the the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building, where the officers were patrolling, and an occupant inside the vehicle opened fire.
“When someone targets a police officer or a police station with an intention to do harm and intimidate, that is an act of domestic terrorism,” Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said.
On Saturday, the security guard who succumbed to his injuries was identified as 53-year-old Patrick Underwood.
“My brother, Dave Patrick Underwood, a federal officer, was murdered 5/29/20 in Oakland California, while on duty during the riots,” Underwood’s sister, Angela Jacob Underwood, posted about his death on her Facebook page, KRON4 and the East Bay Times report. “This Violence Must Stop.”
Underwood worked as a contract officer and grew up in Pinole, where friends knew him as "Pat," according to the Mercury News.
Growing up, Underwood played both baseball and basketball in school. His former high school coach, Steve Storer, told the Mercury News he first met Underwood in elementary school.
“Never had a problem with him,” Storer said, according to the paper. “He’s the kind of [student] you want to be around, the kind of kid you remember 10, 20, 30 years later."
He continued: “A real good guy lost his life."
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On Saturday, Senator Dianne Feinstein released a statement on the shooting: "Last night’s shooting of two security guards in Oakland again showed what an inflammatory and difficult period we’re in. We have to know right from wrong and not use the terrible tragedy in Minneapolis to perpetrate more violence. ...People must have the right to peacefully and safely protest in Oakland and across the country.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigations has not released a motive in the shooting. They are asking the public for any pictures or videos from the area and time of the shooting— as well as any information that could lead to an arrest— to be submitted at tips.fbi.gov. Tipsters can remain anonymous.