The BART police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man on an Oakland train platform and then refused to explain his actions to investigators was arrested Tuesday in Nevada on suspicion of murder, authorities said.
Johannes Mehserle, 27, of Lafayette was taken into custody in Douglas County, Nev., said Deputy Steve Velez of the Douglas County sheriff's office. The arrest was also confirmed by David Chai, chief of staff to Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums.
Mehserle was arrested in the New Year's Day shooting of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old supermarket worker from Hayward who was lying facedown after being pulled off a BART train by police investigating a fight. An Alameda County judge signed an arrest warrant alleging murder, and Mehserle surrendered without incident, authorities said.
The shooting, which was recorded by passengers in videos widely circulated on the Internet and television, prompted public outrage, and some viewers said that the shooting appeared to be an execution.
Sources said Mehserle was in Nevada because he feared for his safety after death threats were made against him.