A 66-year-old woman known well to her neighbors as someone who would gladly watch over your pets if you were out of town was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon while driving her car near her home. The shooting happened on Fern Street near Brookdale Avenue in Oakland, along what's described as a "shady" stretch of street bordering the Home of Peace Cemetery, between the Maxwell Park and Fairfax neighborhoods.
Judy Salamon was found dead in her car, in the middle of the street, just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, and neighbors believe someone may have stepped out in front of her car in order to rob her. The block is known to be frequented by drug dealers, and Salamon was engaged with some of her Maxwell Park neighbors about hiring private security to patrol the area, because they felt unsafe. No arrests have been made.
Neighbor Mike Martzke says, "She was one of those neighbors, like one in a million neighbors. The one who takes care of your animals when you're out of town... She was a concerned neighbor."
There was a candlelight vigil for Salamon last night, and this morning a couple of Oakland City Council members and local residents held a press conference at the site of the murder to call for an end to the violence. Some residents expressed frustration that anti-police demonstrations, like one planned tonight in downtown Oakland as yet another reverberation following the George Zimmerman verdict protests, are distracting Oakland police from fighting crime. But of course there's a lot more to OPD's issues, and crime trends in general over there, than just that.