Residents say Oakland police ignored complaints about shooting suspect

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OAKLAND (KTVU) -- The man who was fatally shot by police last week in east Oakland after he began randomly firing had previous encounters with residents, who say their reports about the suspect were ignored by police.

A homeless man said Jesse Enjaian opened fire into his car as he slept. The homeless man, who declined to have his name published, said he is lucky to be alive after Enjaian allegedly opened fire on him while he was in his vehicle.

"And when he shot it out, he shot through the glass window (and) it grazed my head and went right through the dashboard," the victim said. "Then he shot again. And that's when I immediately hit the horn."

He said he ran to a nearby house, where a resident promised to call police. The homeless man said he saw Enjaian outside and went to him before he realized he was speaking to the alleged gunman.


"I actually ran to him and asked him for help," the man said. "And he told me, 'I shot you,'" before using a racial epithet.

Police never arrested Enjaian, even after the victim says he identified him. Four days earlier, neighbors said the same suspect shot up cars on the street. Again, police did not make any arrests.

"I definitely think OPD dropped the ball," the homeless man said.

And last Friday, authorities say Enjaian again opened fire while armed with a long rifle with a scope. During an hour-long standoff, police shot him. He died hours later at a hospital.

The homeless man said if Oakland police had arrested Enjaian earlier, the shootings on Friday may have been prevented. 

"All I asked for was help," the man said. "And the neighbors also. They've been asking OPD for help (but) there was no help given."

Police told KTVU that the department was looking into the earlier shootings and more information may be forthcoming soon.