Bilal's Team Robbed At Gunpoint At Video Shoot Location In Oakland, Ca.
OKP's thoughts are with Bilal and his team today, as we process the scary news that the revered soul singer (and cherished human being!) and his team were robbed--some members of the team being held at gunpoint--in Oakland, California while on location there for a video shoot. Okayplayer was alerted by mutual friends who were in touch with Bilal during the day yesterday and have now confirmed those reports with Bilal's management and reps at E One Records. Details are still coming in, but here's what we do know:
Yesterday afternoon during a video shoot for "I Really Don't Care" in Oakland, Bilal and his crew were held up by four assailants while packing up equipment. Two of those four are apparently already in custody after a high-speed chase that ended with their vehicle crashing on the highway, and the Oakland Police seem to be on the tracks of the remaining two suspects (get the full text of the basic incident report below via Nixle). We've yet to receive a direct statement from Bilal, but we've spoken with his manager Hans Elder (also present when the incident occurred) in regards to the welfare of team Bilal and are gratified to know that everybody's physically okay and appear to be in relatively good spirits as the police continue their investigation and attempt to retrieve the remainder of the equipment lost in the robbery.
Although nobody was harmed--and some of the stolen equipment has apparently been recovered already--during what was surely a traumatic experience, everyone involved is understandably shook up and should be granted some time and space to regroup following the robbery. It is worth adding that by all accounts the Oakland PD have been incredible through what was clearly a terrifying ordeal.
OKP will be sure to update our readers with any significant developments. In the meantime, if you happen to have been in the area during or after the robbery--or have any information on the suspects--we encourage you to contact the Oakland Police Department Robbery Unit at: 510-238-3326. Again, Bilal and his team seem to be on good ground, so there's no need to worry. Just do the right thing if you have any info on the matter!
Police Detain 2 Robbery Suspects
At approximately 3:15 today, officers responded to the 500 block of 23rd Street on a report of an armed robbery. When officers arrived, multiple victims stated that they had been robbed at gunpoint. Victims and witnesses provided officers with descriptions of the suspects and the suspect vehicle.
Officers observed the suspect vehicle, which had crashed exiting eastbound 580 near 98th Avenue, and saw the four suspects fleeing from the car.
With the assistance of the OPD police helicopter andOPD canine units, a perimeter was set. Two of the four suspects have been detained. Some of the victims' loss has been recovered. The investigation continues.
At this time, all roads are open.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Oakland Police Department Robbery Unit at 510-238-3326.