The tight circle of family and friends still reeling from the loss of Oscar Grant has been dealt another tragic loss. On Friday evening Johntue Caldwell, Oscar Grant’s best friend and the godfather of his daughter, was found dead inside his car in Hayward, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Caldwell, who was 25, was found inside a Cadillac parked at a Union 76 gas station, the paper reported. According to the police, the shooter walked up to Caldwell and shot through the windshield. Police are still searching for a motive for the shooting, and believe that Caldwell was not the victim of a random incident.
John Burris, the attorney for the Grant family, told the San Francisco Chronicle Caldwell’s death was a “tragedy of the highest order.”
Caldwell was with Grant on January 1, 2009, when Grant was shot and killed by Johannes Mehserle, a BART transit officer. After a video of the shooting was uploaded onto YouTube, sparking several nights of protest and national outrage, Mehserle was charged with murder by the Alameda County District Attorney’s office. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter last summer, the least serious of the possible convictions he faced, and in June was released after serving one year of his two-year prison sentence. Grant, who was 22 years old, was laying face down on the train platform when he was killed. He was unarmed.
Caldwell has a $5 million lawsuit pending against former BART transit officer Marysol Domenici. Caldwell had said that Domenici harassed him on the platform and hurled racial slurs at him. In June Grant’s mother Wanda Johnson received a $1.3 million settlement for a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit she filed against BART.
A vigil has been planned for Caldwell tonight at 6pm at the corner of West Tennyson and Calaroga in Hayward, where Caldwell was killed.