A Federal Protective Service (FPS) Officer was killed and another injured Friday in a shooting at a federal building in Oakland, Calif., amid protests and violence in the city over the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd.
"We have witnessed an outright assault on our law enforcement community last night in Oakland, California," Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said at a Saturday news conference. "An assassin cowardly shot two Federal Protective Service contractors as they stood watch over a protest."
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.
“The FBI has deployed investigators and the Evidence Response Team to the crime scene,” the agency said in a statement. “We will continue to work this investigation alongside the Oakland Police Department.”
The Federal Protective Service is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and is responsible for protecting more than 9,000 federal facilities across the country.
According to the DHS website, the FPS’ mission is “to prevent, protect, respond to and recover from terrorism, criminal acts, and other hazards threatening the U.S. Government’s critical infrastructure, services, and the people who provide or receive them.”
It was not clear whether the shooting was directly linked to the protests that took place in Oakland and across the U.S. in response to the death of Floyd while in police custody. Protests and riots have engulfed the country after video emerged of a police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck.
Wolf said that FPS was now taking "an enhanced posture in a number of cities and localities throughout the country."
Acting Deputy Homeland Secretary Security Ken Cuccinelli said that there were existing threats to attack police stations and federal buildings.
"That violence not only won't be tolerated, we are also committed to ensuring that it won't succeed anywhere, anywhere," he said. "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."
According to The Associated Press, 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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.