‘Suicide Bomber’ Detonates Explosive at Oakland Health Clinic

Police stand behind a crime scene tape

Authorities in California say a man in a wheelchair detonated a pipe bomb inside the waiting room of an east Oakland health clinic on Tuesday night, killing himself in what is believed to be a suicide bombing, though not necessarily with the intent to kill others.

“At this time it doesn’t appear to be related to terrorism,” Oakland police Lt. Rachael Van Sloten said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Oakland Police Department released the following statement regarding the incident:

Witnesses reported that an adult male, who was in a wheelchair, entered the lobby of the clinic armed with what appeared to be a pipe bomb and detonated the bomb taking his own life. No other injuries were reported. The investigation reveals this is an isolated incident where an individual took his own life. OFD and emergency medical services responded to the scene. The Alameda County Sheriff’s bomb squad also responded.

According to the OPD press release, the man was the sole person in the lobby when the bomb was detonated. His name has not yet been released. According to the East Bay Times, the man may have been sitting in the lobby for as long as one hour before setting off the bomb and taking his own life.

The Chronicle notes that Oakland police said the explosion occurred at 6:26 p.m. inside the San Antonio Neighborhood Health Clinic, located on 1030 International Boulevard.

Investigators have reportedly concluded that the incident was isolated, and labeled it a suicide.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department sent its bomb squad to assist with the investigation to search the vicinity to make sure no other explosive devices were inside the clinic. No other explosive devices were found.

According to the California Health Care Foundation, about 1 in 20 adults in California suffers from a serious mental illness.

An article published on Bay Area public radio stations KQED last year pinpointed the serious nature of extended wait times for individuals suffering from mental health issues at Kaiser Permanente. A report released by the California Department of Managed Health Care in February last year,called the Oakland-based hospital’s mental health services “inadequate”.

In at least one case, a teenager with major depression and thoughts of suicide was reportedly forced to wait 24 days for an initial appointment.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.