Murder charge filed in fatal shooting of ex-USF basketball player 

An Oakland man was charged with murder Monday for the shooting death of former University of San Francisco basketball player Hyman Taylor Jr. during what prosecutors believe was a failed attempt to rob a marijuana dealer.

The shooting occurred at about 7:30 p.m. last Tuesday in the parking lot of the Ikea furniture store at the border of Emeryville and Oakland.

Alameda County Chief Deputy District Attorney Tom Rogers identified the man charged in Taylor’s death as 20-year-old Cassidy O’Connor.

Rogers said Taylor, O’Connor, a 27-year-old San Francisco man and a fourth person, a woman, arranged to meet a female marijuana dealer in the Ikea parking lot.

Rogers said O’Connor, Taylor and the two others planned to steal a large quantity of marijuana from the dealer but when they started to do so, the woman’s male protector, who had been lurking in nearby bushes, fired at Taylor’s group, hitting Taylor and the San Francisco man.

Taylor, 23, of Oakland, was pronounced dead at the scene and the San Francisco man was taken to a hospital with critical injuries.

Rogers said the man is expected to survive but is still so badly hurt that he can’t talk.

Taylor and the San Francisco man were both armed with guns but it isn’t clear if they fired shots, Rogers said.

Although O’Connor is not suspected of shooting anyone, Rogers said he charged him with homicide under a state law that considers it murder to participate in a felony in which someone is killed.

The Ikea store’s entrance is at 4400 Shellmound St. in Emeryville but its parking lot is in Oakland, so Oakland police investigated the crime.

The investigation led to O’Connor, who admitted his involvement in the alleged robbery gone wrong, Rogers said.

The woman who was with Taylor, O’Connor and the San Francisco man was cooperative with police and gave a statement, Rogers said. She’s being held in custody for violating her probation in another case, he said.

The female dealer and her male protector haven’t yet been located, Rogers said.

A .22-caliber gun that was registered to Taylor was found next to his body, according to Rogers.

O’Connor was scheduled to be arraigned at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland on Monday on murder and robbery charges.

Rogers said Taylor, O’Connor and their two accomplices hooked up with the drug dealer through an online medical marijuana marketplace called

Taylor, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was a 6-foot-9-inch, 245-pound center who last played for its basketball team in the 2008-09 season. A USF spokesman said Monday that Taylor had been pursuing a degree in sociology but never graduated.


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