The recent uptick in gun violence in Oakland, including last weekend's shocking number of shootings (fifteen), can be tied back, in large part, to the August murder of a 16-year-old East Oakland girl. Oakland Police have told the Chronicle that some large percentage of recent shootings are connected to this escalated gang war between a group calling themselves The Money Team and another, unnamed gang, leading to multiple rounds of violent retaliation. The Money Team is said to have joined forces with the West Oakland-based gang Ghost Town, and they're being blamed for several home invasion robberies around the Bay in recent months.
One of those robberies resulted in the November 30 murder of 66-year-old Raveesh "Ravi" Kumra, a cell-phone entrepreneur and former owner of Mountain Winery in Saratoga. His wife found him dead in their San Jose Hills home, after it was ransacked. Santa Clara authorities said in a news conference this week that they've connected the crime to The Money Team, and they say that the gang was given a map of the layout of the home by 22-year-old Raven Dixon, a prostitute whom Kumra had hired and brought to the home multiple times.
The Money Team likes to target wealthy people who belong to ethnic groups that are known to keep large sums of money and valuables in their home. Two members of the group, Deangelo Austin, 21, and Lukis Anderson, 26, and one member of Ghost Town, Javier Garcia, 21, have been arrested and charged in the murder, and Dixon has been charged as an accessory.
We would also surmise that there is a likely connection here to the gruesome, unprovoked murders of two teenage best friends in late November in East Oakland, which could have been retaliation for the earlier, August murder of the 16-year-old girl.
Previously: Oakland Tries Operation Ceasefire Once Again