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"Officer Down"

Assault Weapons and the War on Law Enforcement

Section Three: Selected Incidents of Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty by Assault Weapons, 1998 Through 2001

Date: January 10, 1999

Location: Oakland, California

Assault Weapon: MAK-90 or SA85 7.62mm rifle

On January 10, 1999, Officer James Williams was killed with a MAK-90 or SA85 7.62mm rifle. Officer Williams was among a group of officers who were searching for a rifle that had been discarded by the occupants of a vehicle that was involved in a chase with police. While they were searching for the rifle, a gunman opened fire from a nearby overpass, killing Officer Williams. Chad Rhodes was arrested and charged with special-circumstances murder, attempted murder, three counts of firing an assault weapon, and possessing an assault weapon. Rhodes pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Henry K. Lee, "Arrest in Oakland Sniper Slaying," San Francisco Chronicle, January 12, 1999; Henry K. Lee, "Sniper Suspect Enters Plea of Not Guilty," San Francisco Chronicle, February 6, 1999; "Man Pleads Guilty in Killing of Oakland Cop," San Francisco Chronicle, April 9, 2003


Each weapon shown is representative of the brand or model of assault weapon and is not a picture of the specific weapon used in the shooting described in the narrative.

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  All contents � 2003 Violence Policy Center


The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.