Firefighters had just returned to their station in East Oakland from a call Tuesday night when they heard dozens of gunshots. A lieutenant remarked to a cadet that when they hear gunfire like that, it usually means they’ll be responding to an incident soon.
But seconds later, a bullet pierced a back window of Station 18 at 50th and Bancroft avenues, whizzed down the length of a hook-and-ladder truck – right where two firefighters had been standing – and exited through a front window before lodging in an apartment building across the street.
A firefighter ducked behind a front wheel of a fire engine. Two threw themselves under a desk in a nearby office, while a firefighter upstairs “could hear the bullet zinging, and that’s when she ducked,” said Battalion Chief Emon Usher.
“They dove underneath the fire engine, firefighters inside dove underneath the desk,” Battalion Chief Emon Usher said. “Upstairs they could hear the bullets zinging by.”
Bullets hit two window panes; one in the back garage door, and one in the front. They came from a murder in the 5000 block of Melrose Avenue. A 19-year-old was killed while attending a vigil just before 9 p.m.
“No firefighters were injured and the only thing that was damaged was the apparatus doors, so we were very fortunate last night,” Usher said.