A spate of deadly gun violence in Oakland landed Tuesday afternoon outside the doors of City Hall, where a shooting marked the city’s fourth homicide in less than 24 hours.
Shortly after 2 p.m., two men were shot near 14th Street and Broadway, according to the Oakland Police Department. One was pronounced dead on scene, and the other was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.
It was the city’s fourth shooting death since Monday night and its 91st killing this year, police said. Oakland recorded 100 homicides by this time last year.
The City Council briefly paused its meeting after the shooting, according to KRON-TV.
No arrests have been made as Oakland police continue to investigate.
Only hours before, police officials had held a news conference addressing a series of shootings that left three people dead in a span of 45 minutes Monday night.
Just before 7:45 p.m. Monday, the city’s ShotSpotter system, which uses audio sensors to detect gunshots, alerted officers to multiple rounds fired in the 3100 block of Telegraph Avenue, police spokesperson Kim Armstead said at the news conference.
Two men, ages 27 and 59, had been shot and were pronounced dead at the scene, she said.
A third victim, identified as a 19-year-old male, “self-transported” to a hospital, Armstead said. His injuries weren’t believed to be life-threatening.
Investigators believe that multiple shooters in a vehicle opened fire into a crowd “at two separate establishments,” she said. As of Tuesday, authorities did not know of a motive.
Two officers on traffic-control duty near the scene of the shootings were injured by a suspected drunk driver who crashed into them, Armstead said. One was inside a marked patrol vehicle while the other was standing outside; both were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening. The driver was arrested.
Less than an hour after the shootings on Telegraph, multiple 911 callers reported a shooting in the 2200 block of East 20th Street.
A 48-year-old woman who had suffered a gunshot wound was pronounced dead at the scene, Armstead said.
In addition to the three fatal shootings, Oakland police were investigating “four separate shootings that occurred citywide within a 13-hour span,” she said.
The violence is leaving its mark on the community, one activist said.
“We’re killing each other,” said Antoine Towers, president of the Oakland Violence Prevention Coalition. “That’s for sure something that makes our hearts grow colder and colder, makes it to where people are normalizing the harm that takes place in the community. They feel like there’s no chance and it’s supposed to be like this.”
Towers, who works as a violence interrupter, said he and his colleagues face significant challenges in building trust with these communities.
The younger generations especially, he said, are doing “whatever [they] can to survive. … It’s survival of the fittest.”
He spoke about a young man he’d been visiting in the hospital since August who was involved in gang life, lashing out and refusing services.
Towers said he finally broke through to the young man while visiting him earlier Tuesday.
“After sitting in there for a while, he’s like, ‘I want to be safe,’” Towers said. “He allowed an actual conversation to happen today.”
The young man had previously recoiled at offers to be relocated to a new apartment where he’d have an opportunity to get a job, build his credit and have stability, the violence intervention worker said.
Such breakthroughs can take weeks, or longer, of grueling work focused on that person’s needs and life experiences, Towers said.
“I’ve been saying for a long time, crime happens in our community when we can’t communicate with each other,” he said. “You can’t get [to] solutions unless you address the start.”