Live News Crew Covering Teacher's Strike Gets Robbed, Retired Cop Shot
Oakland, CA – A television news crew was robbed, and a retired police officer doing their security was shot, in Oakland on Sunday.
KPIX reported that their news crew was robbed as Joe Vazquez and his cameraman, John Anglin, were covering a teachers strike at the Oakland Library just before 5 p.m. on Feb. 24.
Vazquez and Anglin said they were standing outside their news truck when a car pulled up and two men got out.
One of the suspects pulled out a gun and told Anglin to give them his camera.
“I just walked away and said ‘take it, it’s yours,” the cameraman said. “Next thing you know, I hear gunshots.”
Retired Berkeley Police Officer Matt Meredith was working security for the KPIX news crew when the robbery happened.
Meredith attempted to stop the robbers but one of them shot him in the leg, according to the East Bay Times.
The retired police officer returned fire and engaged in a gunfight with the suspects, but both men escaped.
Meredith was transported to the hospital and listed in stable condition.
The news crew was not injured during the gunfight, KPIX reported.
At about 5:15 p.m. the same day, a 21-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds showed up at an area hospital seeking treatment, the San Francisco Gate reported.
Alameda County Sheriff spokesman Sergeant Ray Kelly said police arrested the wounded man on suspicion of having shot the news crew’s security guard.
Then at 6:56 p.m., Oakland police spotted the suspects’ vehicle and pursued it, KPIX reported.
The second suspect led police on a high speed chase through busy traffic in the city that ended when he crashed the champagne-colored Lexus sedan into a sidewalk and multiple cars.
The chase was captured on neighborhood surveillance cameras,
Oakland Police Department Public Information Officer Johanna Watson confirmed that police had arrested the driver and several other people in connection with the armed robbery and shooting.
Officer Watson said Monday that the stolen camera had been recovered as a result of the arrests, KPIX reported.
This not the first attack on a KPIX news crew. In 2012, a man assaulted a cameraman filming in front of an Oakland high school.
He punched the cameraman and ran away with the camera while it was still recording, the San Francisco Gate reported.
Robberies and assaults on news crews in Oakland and San Francisco have become so common that media outlets now send out security guards with their reporters, the San Francisco Gate reported.
The Associated Press reported five robberies in 2012, two in 2013, and three in 2014.
In 2015, the Associated Press reported at least three robberies and multiple burglaries from news trucks, according to the San Francisco Gate.
KPIX said that all of their security guards are retired police officers.