Officer Robert Blan was on patrol in West Oakland during the early morning hours of May 23, 1973. At 2:35 a.m. he conducted a car stop and called for a cover unit.
Before the arrival of his cover, Blan found himself engaged in a struggle with the occupant of the car during which Blan’s revolver was taken from him. When Sgt. Frank Mellott and Officer David McGill arrived at the scene of the car stop, they found Blan’s police car, but couldn’t find him. A search of the area was conducted, and Blan was found a half a block away in a vacant lot. He was lying face down and appeared to have been shot three times. An ambulance was called and Blan was transported to Kaiser Hospital, but he never regained consciousness.
When Mellott and McGill returned to Blan’s patrol car, they were given a description of the suspect vehicle, which suddenly returned to the scene. They signaled the vehicle to stop, and the driver complied. As the two officers approached the vehicle, the driver gunned the engine and attempted to run them down. They fired on the car. The driver was hit and lost control of the car. The vehicle crashed and the occupants were taken into custody. Blan’s revolver was found in the vehicle; three rounds had been expended.
Blan, 26, had been a member of Oakland Police Department for 2 years. He was survived by his wife and two children.