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Federal Protective Service Officer Killed Amid Riots In Oakland, California

By  Emily Zanotti
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - MAY 29: Police officers stand in a fog of tear gas during a protest sparked by the death of George Floyd while in police custody on May 29, 2020 in Oakland, California. Earlier today, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was taken into custody for Floyd's death. Chauvin has been accused of kneeling on Floyd's neck as he pleaded with him about not being able to breathe. Floyd was pronounced dead a short while later. Chauvin and 3 other officers, who were involved in the arrest, were fired from the police department after a video of the arrest was circulated. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Federal Protective Service officer Patrick Underwood was killed Friday night in a shooting at a federal office building in Oakland, California, as riots raged over the death of George Floyd.

The Department of Homeland Security announced Underwood’s death in a press conference on Saturday but did not name Underwood until Sunday morning when his friends and family released details of his life to media outlets.

“We have witnessed an outright assault on our law enforcement community last night in Oakland, California,” Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told media Saturday. “An assassin cowardly shot two Federal Protective Service contractors as they stood watch over a protest.”

“My brother, Dave Patrick Underwood, a federal officer, was murdered 5/29/20 in Oakland California, while on duty during the riots,” Underwood’s sister wrote on social media. “This Violence Must Stop.”

“According to the FBI’s San Francisco branch, the shooting occurred at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building when a vehicle approached the building and opened fire at the security officers,” Fox News reported on Sunday. The shooters “began firing gunshots at contract security officers for the Federal Protective Service of the Department of Homeland Security,” NBC News added.“The FBI has deployed investigators and the Evidence Response Team to the crime scene,” the FBI said in a statement, per Fox News. “We will continue to work this investigation alongside the Oakland Police Department.”

So far, the FBI and other agencies have refused to say whether the shooting was connected to riots that ravaged the Bay Area on Friday and Saturday.

“About 1,000 protesters in Oakland smashed windows, sprayed buildings with ‘Kill Cops’ graffiti and were met with chemical spray from police, who said several officers were injured by projectiles,” according to Fox News. The San Francisco Chronicle says that arsonists lit “dozens and dozens” of fires overnight on Saturday, forcing San Francisco mayor London Breed to declare a curfew. The curfew, which begins at 8 pm and lasts until 5 am, will be in effect Sunday as well.

The Department of Homeland Security has said that there were a number of threats made against federal buildings across the country.

Acting Department of Homeland Security Ken Cucinelli told media that “there are currently threats by some to attack police stations and federal buildings. That violence will not be tolerated. We’re also committed to ensuring that it won’t succeed anywhere, and let me be clear when someone targets a police officer or a police station with an intention to do harm and intimidate that is an act of domestic terrorism.”

Underwood, who “grew up in Pinole, [California,] and still lived there,” “was one of the kindest souls I have ever had the pleasure of meeting,” a family friend told ABC News. “A man full of empathy and compassion whose smile would light up a room. Humbleness and humility were his two greatest assets. The world needs him and more like him, especially in these troubling times.”

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