Wednesday's mass shooting on the campus of two Oakland high schools left six people injured, and two of them were reportedly students. Oakland police say the shooting was targeted and arose out of "group and gang conflict."
Classes are canceled today at Rudsdale Newcomer High School and BayTech Charter School, which share the King Estate campus on Fontaine Street in Oakland's Eastmont Hills neighborhood. As KTVU reports, the campus serves around 600 students as well as serving as the headquarters for Sojourner Truth Independent Study, a separate program that does not have classes or students on site.
Since the schools were evacuated and the chaos was unfolding Wednesday afternoon, we have learned more details. The Chronicle reports that arriving police at 1:45 p.m. found two shooting victims inside the school, and the remaining four may have been outside the buildings. One report suggested that two of the victims are carpenters employed by the school district.
Two victims have already been released from the hospital, and two others are pending release, the Chronicle reports, with the remaining two in more serious condition.
Initial reports on Wednesday suggested that all six victims were in critical condition.
Multiple news sources reported, via witnesses, that more than one suspect entered the campus before the shooting began.
KTVU reports via a parent at the school that "she witnessed five potential shooters," and other witnesses suggested there were multiple gunmen.
On Thursday, as KRON4 reports, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong spoke to the media and said that investigators are looking for "at least two gunmen," and he characterized the shooting as "group and gang conflict" in which none of the victims were the intended targets.
Armstrong said that more than 30 rounds were fired, and two of the victims were students. The other victims included a school counselor, a security guard, and another school staffer.
Following the criticism of law enforcement in the Uvalde school shooting in May, Armstrong made sure to stress that OPD officers did not hesitate to enter what had been described as an active shooter situation.
"They did not wait, they immediately went in to save any lives they could," Armstrong said, per KRON4. "Our officers did not wait to receive keys to classrooms. They breached classrooms to make sure the campus was safe."
Assistant Police Chief Darren Allison added, "As a parent I completely understand the fear, the emotion, the panic of shootings occurring at schools with young children."
The shooting caps off a violent summer in Oakland, which is on track to have a similarly high number of homicides this year as the city saw in 2021. The city saw its 96th homicide on Tuesday, and last week was the deadliest so far this year, with eight people killed.
Because of where some of the students come from at Rudsdale — which serves primarily migrant teens — and BayTech, a charter academy with grades 6 to 12, the shooting was not necessarily a particularly traumatic event.
According to Antonio Ramirez, a BayTech counselor who spoke to the Chronicle, "The reaction has been mixed," and "A lot of them come from areas where shooting is part of their daily life. Some of them were shook. And for some it was another day."
This post has been updated throughout following the OPD's news conference.
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