OAKLAND -- Four East Bay men have been charged with trying to kill a rival last year in a conspiracy that ended when police -- privy to the plan because of a phone wiretap -- shot and killed two of their associates, according to court documents.
Police had been close-lipped about the officer-involved shooting 13 months ago, but more details emerged Friday when the District Attorney's Office charged the four suspects.
The families of Davon Jackson and John Sloan -- parolees killed in the police operation -- have filed a lawsuit alleging that officers used excessive force in the fatal shooting in the Upper Fruitvale neighborhood on May 18, 2011.
Police say that Jackson, Sloan and an associate, Wynn Brewer, were heading to an apartment that night to kill a man who they believe had shot and wounded a number of their friends. The targeted victim, who was not named, had become a rival of another associate, Patrick O. Shields, a San Leandro man who directed the attempted slaying by repeatedly calling the trio and others throughout the night, according to court documents.
Law enforcement officers, meanwhile, were following Shields' every word because his phone had been tapped two weeks earlier as part of an investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Oakland police.
Because of the wiretap, officers knew Brewer and Sloan were armed and riding in a Toyota Camry driven by Jackson in the 3000 block of Curran Avenue,
According to court documents, officers who were trailing the suspects decided to stop the shooting before it took place.
About 10:30 p.m., they surrounded the Camry. As the officers converged, Sloan, a 23-year-old Fremont man, ran. As he did, he raised a gun at the officers, who shot and killed him, documents said.
Jackson, of Oakland, stayed in the car but refused commands to raise his hands. When he reached toward the vehicle console, officers, believing he was attempting to arm himself, shot and killed him, according to court documents.
Brewer ran from the vehicle with a gun in his hand but was arrested two hours later when officers found him hiding in the backyard of a nearby home. Investigators recovered a handgun near the scene.
Two months later, Shields, who had been convicted of a marijuana-related felony in 2003, was arrested in a separate case when officers found him with a loaded handgun in his waistband. He was convicted of that offense and is serving time in federal prison.
Investigators said the wiretap revealed Shields was assisted in the planning the crime by Willie Howard Pope, an Oakland man also known as Dquan Anthony, and Cyrico Robinson, whose Pleitner Avenue apartment was visited by the intended victim the night of the shooting.
Shields, 29, Brewer, 30, of San Leandro, and Robinson, 25, of Oakland, are accused of conspiracy to commit a crime and attempted murder in the May 18 incident, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Shields and Pope are accused of attempted murder in a May 17 shooting in the intersection of 35th and Brookdale avenues, according to court documents. Pope, 32, also is facing a conspiracy charge.
Each charge comes with special allegation clauses requiring the suspects to serve time in state prison if convicted. Each of the four men has at least one previous felony conviction.
Brewer, charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, and his wife, Keiana Butler, also are facing several felony counts of credit card fraud in a separate pending case, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Robinson and Pope are scheduled to appear Monday in court, authorities said, and Brewer is slated next to appear Friday. Shields remains in federal prison. Each man is being held without bail.
Law enforcement officials and the District Attorney's Office did not say why Shields' phone had been wiretapped. Reached Friday, DEA Special Agent Casey Rettig declined to comment on the case.
Attorney John Burris, representing the families of Jackson and Sloan, said the civil rights lawsuit filed last month alleges that the two suspects were fatally shot "because of police gross misuse of force. They were ambushed without warning."
Oakland police referred questions about the lawsuit to the City Attorney's Office, which was not available for comment Friday.
Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.