Suspect shot in Oakland gunbattle after catalytic converter theft

At least one alleged catalytic converter thief was shot during an exchange of gunfire with a witness to the incident early Thursday in Oakland's Upper Dimond neighborhood, according to police and neighbors.

The incident happened at about 4:20 a.m. on Eastlake Avenue, off 35th Avenue in a normally quiet neighborhood.

"We were sleeping, and it woke us up," said a woman who didn't want to be identified. "To us, it just sounded like banging. We didn't identify it as gunshots."

Witnesses told KTVU at least three thieves came to the neighborhood, two on a motorcycle and a third in a car with its lights off. 

They began sawing the catalytic converter off a Volvo parked in a driveway.

A neighbor of the Volvo owner heard what was happening, came outside and confronted the thieves.

One thief began driving away in the car but then got out and fired numerous shots. That neighbor pulled out a gun of his own and returned fire.

In the chaos, at least one other suspect, a woman, was shot. Witnesses say a man rode off on the motorcycle with that woman clinging to his back and slumped over.

Oakland police later found that woman with a gunshot wound near 27th Avenue and Foothill Boulevard in the Fruitvale District, apparently dropped off by the biker. She was taken to the hospital.

A motorcycle with blood on it was found abandoned at a 7-Eleven gas station at 5th Avenue and International Boulevard. But the rider was gone. The motorcycle was taken as evidence. 

Back in the Upper Dimond neighborhood, the Volvo, with its catalytic converter cut by the thieves, was towed away hours later.

Residents were concerned by the gunfire. One woman said she was worried about her daughter after hearing the gunfire.

"My first thought was her, you know, she's 18 months old. You know, I checked the monitor, I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, is she OK? But it's scary, I worry about stray bullets."

Another resident said, "It's unfortunate, you know? Somebody could have lost their life. Whether they got shot directly or stray bullet, you know? I mean, I get people want to protect their property. At the same time, it's not worth a life."