OAKLAND, Calif. - Oakland City Councilmember Larry Reid hurt his back while trying to escape gunfire Thursday morning at an East Oakland park.
But his first concern was for the senior citizens showing up for his annual Christmas turkey giveaway.
"I have all these seniors whose safety is important, and thank God, you know, none of them was walking along Edes Avenue when the shots rang out," Reid said.
Errick Lewis was among those who showed up for the food giveaway.
"Now his back's hurt, his side is hurt, you know?" Lewis said. "It's awful. It's terrible. You know, we come here for just the special event, for a giveaway."
The shooting happened at about 10:15 a.m. at the park at Edes and Jones. Officers were already there because of a previous incident.
"And I came up here to find out why all the officers were here," Reid said.
It turned out Fremont police had chased four robbery suspects to the Oakland neighborhood. The group had stolen power tools from a Lowe's home improvement store and fought with security.
As officers were chatting with Reid, someone opened fire nearby.
"And next thing you know, somebody starts shooting at us," Reid said.
Oakland police Officer Felicia Aisthorpe, a department spokeswoman said, "While OPD was on scene assisting the Fremont officers, another incident broke out down the street where multiple gunshots were heard. And at that time, officers thought that they were possibly being shot at."
Officers yelled at Reid to run and find cover.
"I fell, and was laying on the ground in pain, and the officers picked me up and dragged me behind a police cruiser, to be safe," Reid said.
No one was injured by gunfire. And the police were not the targets.
"No, no one was hurt, except for me," Reid said, with a rueful laugh, "but that's all right."
At the East Oakland Senior Center, Reid's giveaway went on as scheduled. Volunteers were busy handing out 360 turkeys, 100 hams and all the traditional sides.
The councilmember had nothing for praise for the officers who were right there to help.
"I really appreciate them looking after me as well as the seniors that were in the building waiting to get their food," Reid said.
A nearby school was placed on lockdown. Oakland police say no one is in custody regarding the shooting.
Fremont police said the Lowe's robbery suspects were being taken to jail and would have more information on the charges they face.