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Parnell Smith Killed by OPD
Parnell Smith was stopped by OPD Wednesday afternoon on mistaken identity as a wanted rapist, and then killed by police in a "gun battle." Witnesses say, however, that Mr. Smith dropped his gun and that Police still pursued and shot at him several times, executing him on the scene.
By Cecilia Vega and Amy Hollyfield
OAKLAND, CA (KGO) -- Questions are being raised about what really happened during a running gun battle between one man and police on the streets of Oakland on Wednesday. Witnesses say officers shot and killed an unarmed man. The suspect was a fugitive parolee and rape suspect.
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Police said they stopped Parnell Smith because they believe he matched the description of a rape suspect. They both even carried walking canes. However, now they have confirmed he was not the right person. They now have a name for the actual rape suspect. Two officers are now on paid leave because of the shooting.
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Store owners ducked for cover as bullets pierced their windows. Owner Thavy Soy did not even know it was a bullet that flew by until investigators came in asking where it went. It went through her front window, through a box of food on the counter and even through a flower leaf, missing her by mere inches.
"I just heard the pop outside... like a firecracker," said Soy. "If I standing here, I might get hurt, but lucky I stayed over here."
The busy stretch of International Boulevard was the scene of an all out gun battle Wednesday, and the signs still remain.
It began when two officers stopped 36-year-old Smith because they said he matched the description of a rape suspect. According to police, Smith was a wanted parolee, swung his cane at the officers and pulled out a semi-automatic pistol from his waistband, he aimed it at the officers, and then the shootout began.
However, witnesses say it was police who did most, if not all, of the firing.
"Those bullets [are] from the police," said a witness who wished to remain anonymous.