A 21-year-old woman was fatally shot last weekend in East Oakland by a man, prosecutors say, who had come out of his house mad at "noisy" cars coming down his street late at night, and began randomly shooting at them.
"My office has filed murder charges against an Oakland man who fired his assault rifle into the street, killing 21-year-old Marie Villa Bedford, who was just driving by," says Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price in a video announcement. "When someone takes a life under these circumstances, we will hold them accountable."
The man facing the second-degree murder charge is 39-year-old Bernard Jimmerson, who is a father of two young children and a felon who should not legally have been in possession of a gun, let alone an assault rifle. He's also charged with shooting at an occupied vehicle, as well as gun charges.
Price is publicizing the charges amid protests and negative media coverage over her handling of two other cases — one, the freeway-shooting killing of 2-year-old Jasper Wu, and the other a case in which she has been sparring with a judge over plea deal for a triple-murderer. And clearly the aim is to prove she can be tough on violent crime.
Bedford's murder occurred around 2:30 a.m. Saturday on the 9500 block of MacArthur Boulevard, near the Oakland Zoo. As KPIX reported, officers responded to the area after receiving a ShotSpotter notification, and they found Bedford shot inside her car. Medical personnel attempted but did not succeed in saving her life.
When questioned by police, Jimmerson allegedly admitted that he was simply frustrated with the noise of cars "racing" up and down his street in the middle of the night.
"There are too many guns in this community," Price says. "And there are too many people who are too quick to use a gun... It needs to stop."
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