Henry K. Lee
Four Oakland police officers shot and killed an armed suspect in the takeover robbery of a Walgreens shortly after hearing him exchange gunfire with two California Highway Patrol officers, an attorney involved in the case said Thursday.
The officers shot Maurice Evans Shavers Jr., 21, near the front of the Walgreens pharmacy at 51st Street and Telegraph Avenue about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday just moments after hearing him confront two CHP officers outside the back of the drugstore, said Terry Bowman, an attorney representing the Oakland officers.
“The officers heard a gunbattle and then heard, ‘Officer down!’ ” Bowman said. “Seconds later, the suspect comes running and charging at them.”
Bowman said the four officers, whose names were not released, fired numerous shots at Shavers, who stood more than 6 feet tall and weighed at least 250 pounds.
“This guy was going to kill whatever cop got in his way,” Bowman said. “And so after he engages CHP and shoots that officer, he had many avenues of exit. And they were left with no other option but to defend themselves as individuals and to defend each other.”
The incident began when Shavers and Alphonso Mitchell, 40, burst into the drugstore and herded several employees into a back room at gunpoint, police said. Shavers fired shots inside the store, authorities said.
An employee managed to escape and flag down two CHP officers. Shavers then burst out of a rear emergency door and opened fire on both officers, who fired back. One of the CHP officers was shot in the chest by Shavers and may also have been shot accidentally by his partner, according to sources close to the investigation. That officer was in critical but stable condition Thursday.
Shavers ran from the CHP officers and was then shot dead by Oakland police. His handgun was recovered.
Mitchell, 40, was arrested as he tried to exit the drugstore through the front doors, police said. Mitchell has previous convictions for drugs and domestic violence and served a stint in state prison for grand theft in 2006, records show. He was being held without bail on suspicion of robbery and kidnapping to commit robbery.