An Oakland man testified today that he fired a shot that killed a mother of four children during a road rage confrontation in East Oakland four years ago because he thought her husband had flashed gang signs at him and he thought he was reaching for a gun. Carl DuBose, 24, said he didn’t want to kill anyone and fired only because he was “scared” during the confrontation that resulted in the shooting death of 30-year-old Perla Avina at the corner of 98th and Edes avenues at about 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2014.
DuBose, who was dressed in a black suit, said, “I wasn’t really aiming, I was just firing out of fear.” DuBose said the confrontation began when he and his girlfriend, 26-year-old prostitute Amanda Coates, who were in a 2001 silver Volvo S40, pulled out of the parking lot of an area liquor store in front of a 1998 Toyota Camry that Avina’s husband, Luis Lopez Gallegos, was driving as he and Avina were on their way home from a grocery store. DuBose said Gallegos almost hit his car and he and Gallegos exchanged angry words.
DuBose said he was “afraid” of Gallegos because he was following him and had tattoos that appeared to be gang-related and appeared to be flashing gang signs. Gallegos testified last week that he didn’t flash any gang signs and wasn’t carrying a gun at the time. DuBose said that when the two cars stopped next to each other at the corner of 98th and Edes, he pulled out his gun “and pointed it in the air straight up to show him (Gallegos) I could defend myself and get him to leave me alone.
” DuBose said he had never used the gun before and had bought it on the street to protect Coates while she worked as a prostitute, saying that she gave him some of the proceeds from her work. DuBose said that after he displayed his gun “I figured he (Gallegos) would retreat or leave me alone.” But DuBose said Gallegos then reached down “like he was reaching for something between his legs.” He said he thought Gallegos was going for a gun so he fired three shots.
None of the shots hit Gallegos, who was in the Toyota’s driver’s seat, but one of them struck and killed Avina, who was in the passenger seat. Under a withering cross-examination by prosecutor Jimmie Wilson, DuBose admitted that he created the situation by showing his gun, saying, “You could say that.” Wilson also pointed out the apparent contradiction of DuBose telling the jury that he was afraid of Gallegos but then admitting that instead of fleeing the area after the shooting he turned around and returned to the scene only a few seconds later.
Wilson asked DuBose, “Are you saying that you went back to where this gun-toting gang member was?” DuBose conceded that he went back to scene but said he did so only to see if he had hit anybody with the shots that he fired. Wilson told jurors in his opening statement last week that DuBose should be convicted of murder because he had no justification for firing the shots that resulted in Avina’s death. But Dubose’s lawyer Stephen Avilla said Dubose fired in self-defense because he thought that Gallegos was reaching for a gun.
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