(01-01) 18:41 PST -- A young man allegedly involved in a fight aboard a BART train was shot to death by a BART police officer on the platform of the Fruitvale Station early New Year's Day, in the midst of a brawl between two groups of young train passengers. Oscar Grant, 22, was shot once while on the platform after a BART officer drew his gun during what officials called a volatile and chaotic scene. A gravely wounded Grant was taken to Highland Hospital, where he died Thursday morning, the Alameda County coroner's office said.
And the follow-up report:
(01-05) 22:30 PST PST Oakland -- Five days have passed since a BART police officer shot and killed an unarmed rider on a station platform, but the officer has not given a statement to investigators about what happened and the transit agency has apparently not forced him to do so.
The delay comes as witnesses emerge with their accounts of what happened, some with video footage of the incident recorded on cellular phones. The hold-up is one reason why BART officials - even in the face of public outcry - have said little publicly about the shooting, including whether they believe it was justified.
BART has not released the officer's name, but The Chronicle has learned that the officer is two-year BART police veteran Johannes Mehserle, who turned 27 on Monday and whose first child was born within a day or two of the shooting - an event that may be a contributing factor to why Mehserle has not yet explained the shooting to investigators.
Last but not least... the cell phone video footage of the incident (warning - it shows the shooting itself):
For those of you who don't want to watch, it shows the officers moving Grant from a sitting position to lying facedown on the station platform. A brief, minor struggle ensues, but the officers subdue him and pin him to the platform. One of the officers then stands, draws his pistol, and shoots Grant once in the back.
My two cents - There's only a couple of plausible explanations I can think of here. The first one, which the second news article mentions, is that the officer meant to use his Taser (which BART police recently started using) but drew his firearm instead. The second is that he drew his firearm meaningfully, at which point the gun discharged accidentally. Either way, there was a serious failure in gun safety procedures. And it doesn't help the police's image that they haven't interviewed the officer who killed Grant yet.