Investigators in Oakland believe there may be a link between a May 16 double homicide in East Oakland that killed two 17-year-old boys, and the shooting up of a party bus that happened about one day later on I-580, killing two more teenagers.
The first shooting occurred on May 16 at 5:53 p.m. near the intersection of Highland Avenue and East 26th Street. Arriving officers found one 17-year-old victim dead on the ground, and the second victim was driven to the hospital, where he died from his wounds. Neither victim has yet been publicly identified.
The party bus shooting happened the following night — technically after midnight, early on May 18 — and investigators say that the suspected target, a male passenger on the bus, managed to duck and avoid gunfire, while two young women were fatally struck. The shooting took the lives of 19-year-old Alayasia Thurston of Oakland, and 16-year-old Zoey Hughes of Modesto. The bus had been chartered to celebrate another young woman's 21st birthday.
About 70 rounds were fired at the bus at three locations on the freeway and off the Seminary Avenue exit.
As NBC Bay Area reports, investigators with CHP Oakland who have been seeking suspects in the party bus shooting believe that it may have occurred in retaliation for the killing of the two boys the previous day.
Authorities suspect last week’s ambush attack on a party bus on Interstate 580 in Oakland that killed two teenagers was in retaliation for a shooting in East Oakland two days earlier, the Investigative Unit has learned. https://t.co/itX5cF0Cir— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) May 26, 2021
One 17-year-old suspect was detained for questioning in that shooting but later released.
"The targeting, the shootings that are going on, are really out of control," says Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo, speaking to NBC Bay Area. "It’s got to stop."
As of today, Oakland has seen 55 homicides so far in 2021, representing a major escalation in violent crime over the previous few years.
Telling NBC that there is now council support for re-funding the police and hiring more officers, Gallo says, "For us to solve the violent crime in Oakland, it is going to take all of us to do it."
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