Ersie Joyner speaking at an August 18, 2018 press conference about the city's Ceasefire program, which he ran at the time. Credit: Darwin BondGraham

Retired Oakland Police Captain Ersie Joyner was shot and wounded today as he was robbed at a gas station at 17th Street and Castro, according to police records and sources.

Joyner, a highly decorated officer who retired after 28 years on the force in 2019, was pumping gas when three individuals exited another vehicle and confronted him. According to OPD records and sources, Joyner drew a gun and fired, killing one of the robbery suspects. He may have wounded another suspect before they got back into their car and fled. The car was described as 2007 Nissan Sentra.

Joyner was shot multiple times. He is at a local hospital being treated, according to police sources.

OPD’s radio records show that between 5 and 12 gunshots were exchanged during the robbery. An officer who responded to the scene shortly after the suspects fled told other police over the radio “Ersie Joyner’s here on scene. He’s shot multiple times.”

The San Francisco Chronicle and KTVU published gas station surveillance video that shows three individuals in hooded sweatshirts with face masks approaching Joyner as he is fueling his vehicle. The individuals begin grabbing Joyner and appear to be taking his belongings. When one of the suspects opens Joyner’s car door, Joyner pulls a gun and begins shooting. One suspect falls to the ground motionless. Joyner then steps around the pump and continues firing and appears to be struck by gunfire before he retreats.

OPD issued a statement about the incident: “The Oakland Police Department is investigating a homicide that occurred today, just after 1:00 PM, in the 1700 block of Castro Street.  Officers were responding to a ShotSpotter activation.  Upon arrival, officers located two victims suffering from gunshot wounds. One victim was transported to an area hospital and the other died at the scene. Oakland Police Homicide Investigators responded to take over the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death. His identity is being withheld pending notification to the next-of-kin.”

Police radio recordings show that just after the shooting, OPD officers attempted to stop bystanders who were at the gas station and might have witnessed the shooting.

Joyner ran OPD’s Ceasefire program during the five years the city saw historic declines in homicides. In the early 1990s, he was often assigned to joint federal task forces focused on drug and gun crimes. He grew up in Oakland and is a graduate of Bishop O’Dowd High School and California State University Hayward.

After retiring, Joyner became the chief compliance officer for Grupo Flor and part owner of the Joyus Recreation and Wellness Group, two cannabis companies.

At a press conference outside Highland Hospital today at 5:30 p.m., OPD Chief LeRonne Armstrong said that they haven’t made any arrests of the robbery suspects and that the investigation is open.

Retired police are allowed to carry concealed firearms based on a 2004 federal law called the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act.

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.

Ali Winston and David DeBolt contributed to this story.

Before joining The Oaklandside as News Editor, Darwin BondGraham was a freelance investigative reporter covering police and prosecutorial misconduct. He has reported on gun violence for The Guardian and was a staff writer for the East Bay Express. He holds a doctorate in sociology from UC Santa Barbara and was the co-recipient of the George Polk Award for local reporting in 2017. He is also the co-author of The Riders Come Out at Night, a book examining the Oakland Police Department's history of corruption and reform.