Newark man with replica gun threatens motorists, shot by officers: police

A man from Newark was hospitalized Friday after being shot by police. Detectives said the unidentified suspect was threatening passing motorists with a gun. They’re now trying to piece together what prompted his actions.

"All of our use of force (cases) are taken very seriously. And we investigate thoroughly," said Newark police Capt. Jolie Macias.

By lunchtime, Newark police and Alameda County firefighters had completed processing and clearing the officer-involved shooting scene, at the corner of Jarvis Avenue and Newark Boulevard.

Detectives said around 4:30 a.m., passing motorists called 911 saying a man with a gun was threatening them.

"Incredibly dangerous. They could veer off the side of the road. This could cause a collision. But if someone is truly pointing a weapon at you as you’re driving, there is an unknown number of incidents that could be caused as a result of that," said Macias.

Minutes later, a half-dozen Newark police officers converged on the scene. Investigators said police orders to drop the weapon and surrender were not obeyed, prompting one officer, a five-year veteran of the force, to fire. 

The unidentified suspect was wounded and taken to a nearby hospital where he’s listed in stable condition.

Detectives later said the "weapon" was a replica 9mm handgun. They’re checking if a mental health crisis caused the suspect’s behavior.

"In the Bay Area we definitely have an epidemic, a serious problem of serious mental illness," said Dr. Michael Stanton, a CSU East Bay clinical psychologist.

He said rising costs for food, housing and healthcare is exacerbating an ongoing problem with mental healthcare.

"It pushes people to the limit when trying to provide for their families and for themselves," said Stanton. "We have a crisis of income disparity and wealth disparity that I think is driving a lot of this."

Investigators said no motorists or gas station personnel were injured.

Once the suspect is discharged from the hospital, he’ll be transferred to the Alameda County jail and held on charges of brandishing a firearm and resisting arrest. His name will be released once he’s officially charged.

Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station's South Bay bureau. Follow him on Instagram, @jessegontv and on Facebook, @JesseKTVU