OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The family member who was driving when a teen girl was fatally shot during a road rage incident in Oakland last week told KPIX Friday that Oakland police have identified the wrong car as the suspect vehicle .
On Thursday evening, the Oakland Police Department released surveillance video that shows what they said was the car involved in the Oct. 6 road-rage shooting that killed 15-year-old Shamara Young.
Young was shot while riding as a passenger during what Oakland police described as an apparent case of road rage just before 11:30 p.m. on the 5000 block of Bancroft Avenue,
The suspect vehicle seen in the surveillance video taken that night appears to be a silver, early 2000s two-door Honda Accord.
On Friday, Young's uncle Joshua Hatcher, who was behind the wheel of the car targeted in the incident, told KPIX he thought the suspect vehicle was different from the car police showed in the surveillance video.
"I don't think that's the actual car," Hatcher said.
He told KPIX that the car was four-door sedan, not a two-door, and that it had a broken tail light on the passenger side. He said he also thought that it was an Acura.
"The right tail light was lit in the video. The right tail light was out [that night]." said Hatcher during an interview. "I know it was a four-door."
The uncle told KPIX he has been thinking about what he could have done differently that fateful night.
"Could have just pulled over; just let that car go. Go a different route," said Hatcher. "What if I'd just went home instead of going to pick her up? All these different 'What ifs?’"
He said that there no words exchanged before the incident began.
"It was a non-verbal situation. He sped up around me, slowed down, sped up," said Hatcher. "I tried to get back in front of him and that's when he shot at the car. There was no finger-flipping exchange, there was nothing thrown at the window. Nothing."
Hatcher also mentioned that he did not see the surveillance video before it was released Thursday evening. Trauma can affect people's memories, but Hatcher is convinced he's right.
Despite the terrible loss of his niece at such a young age, Hatcher said he still felt he could forgive the shooter.
"What's anger going to do? Anger is just going to get me driving down the street mad," Hatcher said.
Still, he said he wants the shooter to take responsibility.
"Of course I want justice. I want them to for sure serve justice," he said. "Be accountable. At the end of the day, you're going to have to live with this in your heart. Especially if you know you did this."
KPIX contacted the Oakland Police Department and inquired about Hatcher's assertions. A department spokesperson said that while they appreciate Hatcher's thoughts, police were following up evidence "…and believe, from what we've gathered, this vehicle belongs to the suspect."
Young's family is holding a call-to-action event at 6 p.m. Friday near the site of the shooting at 51st Street and Bancroft Avenue. A $10,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to an arrest in the homicide.
Shamara's mom, Chalinda Hatcher, wants the shooter in jail before he hurts another family.
"I feel upset and it enrages me because people really do go out there to cause pain," she said. "That's stupid. You just shot a 15 year old who was innocent. What does that prove, except that you're low life?"
Earlier this week, students at Oakland's Fremont High School where Young was a junior remembered her.
"We lost an angel," culture and climate ambassador Melvin Phillips said in a statement.
Oakland Unified School District officials said Shamara loved being at school.
Shamara loved crime television shows and wanted to be a forensic technician so she could help solve unsolved murders.
Violence prevention educator Joshua Rogers, who helps students at Fremont and Castlemont High School through Teens on Target, said he didn't know Shamara, but he still felt her loss.
"That's what happens in a community, we feel it," Rogers said in a statement. "We all feel it. It has a ripple effect for all of us."
As of Friday morning, a GoFundMe campaign to help Young's family had raised nearly $8,000 toward a $10,000 goal.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Oakland Police Homicide Section at (510) 238-3821.
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