In the first shooting involving Berkeley police since 2010, a Berkeley Police Department officer shot a suspect with a prior history of drug offenses after the suspect allegedly pinned another officer with his car.
A Berkeley Police Department investigative unit was pursuing the suspect — former Berkeley resident Steven Oliver Moore, 48 — in Castro Valley at around 5 p.m. Wednesday when an officer, who was on foot, became pinned between his unmarked police vehicle and the suspect’s vehicle at Center Street and Grove Way, said department spokesperson Sgt. Mary Kusmiss in a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Then, another Berkeley police officer, after witnessing the collision, stepped out of his vehicle and fired at Moore, Kusmiss said.
The injured officer, whose name has not been released, sustained injuries to his hand, thumb and legs, according to Kusmiss. He was released from the hospital late Wednesday night, Kusmiss said, but returned to the hospital Thursday for additional testing.
Moore underwent surgery Wednesday night and remains in critical, but stable, condition as of Thursday, Kusmiss added.
Berkeley police officers were in Castro Valley chasing a lead in a narcotics investigation, Kusmiss added.
Soon after the shooting, officers found what amounted to approximately a half-pound of cocaine in the vehicle, on Moore’s person and in a nearby residence associated with Moore, according to Kusmiss.
“It’s not uncommon for law enforcement agencies of all types to follow investigations where they lead them,” Kusmiss said. “This was a Berkeley-based drug dealer who happens to live in the city of Pittsburg (and) who has residences in Castro Valley.”
Moore has a prior history of drug-related incidents and is currently under federal parole for narcotics and weapons violations, according to Kusmiss.
An Alameda County Sheriff’s Department investigation of the shooting is still underway, Kusmiss said. Moore could be charged with narcotics violations, amongst other charges, which are currently being sorted out at the District Attorney’s office, said Kusmiss.
Senior staff writer Sarah Burns contributed to this report.