On January 9, 2016 Carlos Misael Funez-Romero was murdered at West Oakland station. The killer remains at large. I was there, and wrote this account:

The shooting occurred on the San Francisco platform side, within a stopped San Francisco / Daly City westbound train (possibly the fourth or fifth car from the front). I was on the East Bay platform, awaiting a Pittsburg / Bay Point eastbound train. I did not have a direct view of the train car in which the shooting occurred, although I did see passengers moving between train cars toward the back of the train, and running toward station exits (i.e., staircases), immediately after shots were fired.

Upon seeing this, and being convinced a shooting had occurred, I attempted unsuccessfully to find the station agent at ground level. He apparently had already contacted BART police, who arrived minutes later. I did not see the assailant; he seems to have successfully fled the station —perhaps onto 7th St.— immediately after the murder. Not having found the agent, I returned upstairs to the East Bay platform to tell fellow passengers I had learned nothing of what was happening. Shortly thereafter, we were ordered by loudspeaker to the station entrance at ground level, and kept behind the turnstiles.

West Oakland station has two entrances, which are locked at night by temporary chainlink fences. BART police were not quick enough to prevent a few passengers, seemingly from the San Francisco platform, from exiting the station before establishing a cordon. It’s my belief, however, that the assailant at this point was long gone. Tempted to exit the station quickly myself, scruples kept me put. Someone uttered to a companion minutes later that the police could not simply release potential witnesses from a crime scene.

After BART officers had closed the station fences, one BART officer —presumably a sergeant, although I don't recognize the agency's insignia— asked for any witnesses who were willing to come forward to cross the turnstiles and give statements in person. I counted four or five witnesses who did such, and I'm guessing it was at this point that the suspect description was obtained. Paramedics arrived meanwhile but walked slowly up the stairs to the crime scene, a bad sign. After ten minutes or so of standing had elapsed, a BART officer opened the turnstiles and commanded all passengers to exit the station in an orderly fashion.

Some minutes after the shooting, I had run into my friend M. on the East Bay platform. She hangs out frequently with my buddies at my former residence on ___ St. She called her roommate, and he gave us a ride to our respective destinations. I missed my dinner reservation with a college friend, H., in Uptown Oakland by 45 minutes. I told the restaurant staff the story, and they gave me a beer.


UNTITLED (STAIRS)
Collage on paper. 2014. 7 12.5/16 x 9 2.5/16 in.


+ CONTACT FOR ORIGINAL
9 COUNTIES IN THE BAY
9 FIRES IN THE SHADE