East Bay News

Man shot, killed on stairs to Richmond BART station

Thursday, March 14, 2013

There was a frightening scene at the Richmond BART station Thursday night where a man was gunned down in front of children at the peak of the rush hour commute. Horrified commuters heard the gunfire and then saw a man drop at the top of the station stairwell. The shooter got away.

"I heard about 4-5 gunshots. They just rang out. People started scrambling," said Malik Carter, a Richmond resident.

"I was scared. I was scared because I come through here all the time," said Jennifer Williams, who witnessed the shooting.

We know very little about the victim. He is believed to be in his 30s.

BART police had the area cordoned off late into the night. Officers canvassed the parking lot, looking for any evidence of the shooting that left one man dead in the middle of rush hour. It happened outside, on top of the staircase that riders use to go in and out of the BART station. Jennifer Williams says everyone, including children, started running, as soon as the shots were fired.

"I was ready to go up the elevator. I had my headphones on and they were pretty loud and I could hear the gunshots even through my music. And everyone ran to the back of the BART station after they heard the shots," said Williams.

Police say two men are responsible for the shooting. Witnesses told officers the pair took off running. At this point, investigators don't know what the motive may have been. They're working on identifying them.

"We're working on video cameras, we're working with Richmond Police and hopefully we'll come up with good identifications and some good evidence," said BART Police Lt. Steve Coontz.

Richmond residents say this latest homicide has them feeling a bit on edge, largely because it happened during a busy time, at a very public place.

"I mean, if anything, I would feel more scared if I was to get shot over there on a street that doesn't have a lot of people, not busy, you know? You wouldn't think this would happen here. A lot of people come here all day," said Carter.

As for Williams, she's just thankful she wasn't caught in the crossfire. She says she would have, had she decided not to wait for the elevator.

"I come through here and I would have been an innocent bystander in the middle of it, if I had gotten in the way," said Williams.

BART service was not affected. Police closed one side of the Richmond station on Macdonald Avenue. Riders have been able to enter and exit from Barrett Avenue.

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richmond, BART, shooting, crime, east bay news, lilian kim
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