There were five violent homicides in Oakland between Saturday and Monday, including four fatal shootings, bringing the city's total for the year to 100. Following an uptick in violence over the last six months, the city is poised to have its highest homicide rate in a decade — and just the last two weeks have been extraordinarily violent.
Oakland's 100th homicide of 2020 came on Monday evening, just after 5 p.m., on the 10400 block of Nattress Way just west of 105th Avenue. The male victim was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and died at the scene, as KPIX reports.
And less than 15 minutes later on Monday, police were called to the scene of an apparent hit-and-run near East 19th Street and 23rd Avenue in the city’s Highland Terrace neighborhood. The male victim was fatally struck by a vehicle in an incident that apparently has not yet been called a homicide.
This was the fifth violent death in the city in the span of just 72 hours — echoing a 24-hour span in late October in which four people were shot in three separate incidents.
On Saturday, at 11:34 p.m., officers on patrol say they heard gunshots in the area of 83rd Avenue and A Street in East Oakland. Upon arriving at the scene, as KRON4 reports, they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound who died at the scene.
A second shooting happened on the 2300 block of Martin Luther King Way, near downtown Oakland, several hours later, at 2:55 a.m. Sunday. That victim was transported to the hospital where he later died.
And a third fatal shooting occurred on Sunday morning at 11:37 a.m., on the 1000 block of 71st Avenue, just east of the Oakland Coliseum.
None of the victims has been publicly identified, and no information has been given about suspects or arrests in any of the deaths.
Oakland police Officer Felicia Aisthorpe tells KPIX that the Oakland Police Department is working to reduce violence through its OPD CARES program, which has boosted patrolling on foot, in cars, and on dual-purpose motorcycles/bicycles.
"Collectively, we want to ensure Oaklanders and our visitors are safe in our community," Aisthorpe tells the station. "When there is a loss of life in Oakland, it impacts us all."
Oakland saw a total of 78 homicides in all of 2019, and the number has been trending mostly downward for years. The last year the city saw homicides in the triple digits was 2012, and 2020 is now on track to have a homicide count that approaches the high of 131 killings seen that year, or the 110 homicides seen in Oakland in 2011.
Various pundits and the city's interim police chief have attributed the rise in violence to the pandemic — and indeed many cities across the country are seeing a rise in violent crimes and homicides as communities experience unprecedented levels of economic pain and anxiety. One high school football coach in Oakland, Joe Bates, speaking to the New York Times two weeks ago, pointed to the fact that schools are closed and teens' routines have been upended, leaving them hanging out in the streets and courting trouble instead of being at football practice, etc.
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