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Oakland Police Arrest Homicide Suspect Who Fatally Shot Male Victim, Fired at Firefighters

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- Police in Oakland on Friday confirmed the arrest of a person who fatally shot a victim and also fired at Oakland firefighters Thursday evening, according to authorities.

The shooting happened Thursday evening on the 1400 block of Center Street. Officers responded at 8:41 p.m. to a residence following a report of a person shot.

Police said the suspect -- who was armed with a gun -- confronted a man and shot him multiple times, killing him. Authorities don't believe the suspect and victim knew each other.

Police said witnesses heard the suspect screaming, "I'm going to shoot someone!" shortly before the shooting happened.

The victim killed has been identified as Oakland resident Ronald Sanders Jr.

The department posted about the arrest on its social media accounts early Friday evening.

The post also noted that the suspect arrested was also responsible for shooting at Oakland Fire Department employees and included a photo of the vehicle the employees were in that had been hit by gunfire.

Three bullet holes were visible in the driver's side door of the vehicle in the photo.

Authorities said a firefighter was driving in the area, which is near Oakland Fire Station No. 3 on the 1400 block of Center Street.

The firefighter spotted the suspect and was about to call in for help but saw a fellow firefighter outside the station taking out the garbage.

He then rushed to save his colleague and the suspect started shooting.

"He drove to pick up the firefighter and remove him from danger," said Oakland Police Lt. Frederick Shavies during a news conference Friday. "The suspect fired, striking their vehicle four times. The firefighters were able to flee, narrowly escaping harm."

Police officers were at a business in the area, canvassing for video, at about 10 a.m. when the suspect entered the business. Officers recognized the suspect from surveillance video taken from the shooting scene and the man was arrested.

He was later identified as 50-year-old William Hobdy.

Police said Hobdy made spontaneous statements that indicated he was the person who shot at the firefighters and Sanders.

Vigil for Victim in Oakland Shooting Friday Jan. 21, 2022

Neighbors, family and friends held a candlelight vigil Friday night at the spot where Sanders was shot and killed.

Sanders' mother, Denise Carter, said the community support was keeping her strong.

"I'm still in shock. I'm numb but I have faith in God and I know God got me," Carter said.

"I watched this man take his last breath. I watched his blood turned from red to black," said Oakland councilwoman Carroll Fife, as she recounted the aftermath to community members at the vigil she organized. Fife said she heard the gunshots on Thursday and ran over to try to help Sanders. She said a homeless woman was grazed by a bullet but declined medical attention.

Denise Carter said she forgives the suspect but wants accountability and justice for her son.

"In order to move forward, I have to forgive. You have to do that and I don't want to walk around holding grudges," said Carter.

Police said Hobdy is set to appear in court next week, facing homicide charges.

© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. KPIX 5's Da Lin and Bay City News Service contributed to this report

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