The future of the big outdoor party in Oakland's Uptown known as both First Fridays and Art Murmur may be in question after a shooting last night that took the life of an 18-year-old boy. At 10:49 p.m. shots rang out in the crowd on the 2000 block of Telegraph Avenue near 20th, injuring a 17-year-old boy who was a friend of the murder victim, as well as two bystanders, a 24-year-old Oakland woman and a 29-year-old San Francisco woman.
As the Tribune reports, the 18-year-old's name was Kiante Campbell of Oakland. Oakland Police are seeking tips and offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the gunman, who remains at large.
The crowds at the event, originally organized under the aegis of Art Murmur but expanded with a city-sponsored street closure and street festival called First Fridays, have swelled over the last year. Upwards of 20,000 people have lately crowded into the area for the event, and nearby galleries open their doors for an art walk from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The street festival includes food trucks, local artisans, performers, and music, and last night's event included a "the Art Zone" (Telegraph between 25th-26th Sts.), "an interactive art environment featuring 40+ artists and artisans, live painters, mobile installations, the ArtIsMobilUs Mobile Art Gallery Bus, an interactive paint wall, the Lego Jeep art car" and DJ sets by DJ Quest, DJ Doce Luna, and DJ Tibbs.
The Art Murmur organization released a statement today trying to distance themselves from the festival itself. They write that they are "deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic shooting that occurred [last night]" and "This another example of the epidemic gun violence erupting across America." But they make clear that the street festival is separate from the art walk, and "The City has been providing security for the street festival that they have been permitting."
Anonymous tips can be made to Oakland police at 510-773-2805 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572 or by text to 888-777, but include the words TipOaklandPD.