Child shot outside Oakland church

March 25, 2008 1:27:52 PM PDT
Oakland police are searching for the gunmen in four separate shootings since Monday that have injured at least two juveniles. One is a 13-year-old boy - shot while attending a memorial service for the 15-year-old boy killed by police last week.

The church-goers had just attended a memorial service for a 15-year-old killed by police last week.

Oakland investigators believe the shooters were gang members. That was just one of four separate incidents in Oakland in less than 36 hours.

The shooting near St. Anthony's Church happened about 8:30 on Monday night. Also, police say a man was wounded at 11:40 p.m., in the 8600 block of Hillside Street, and yet another victim was wounded at 4:00 a.m. in the 7300 block of International Boulevard and another man was wounded at 1:20 Monday morning.

On Tuesday morning, Oakland Police said that all officers can do at this point is continue on. In the meantime, in all of the shootings, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform, otherwise known as ACORN, are preparing a march at 5:00 p.m. today to protest the police shooting of the teenage boy last week.

This morning, members of St. Anthony's Church sweep up after Monday night's drive-by shooting of a 13-year-old boy right in front the sanctuary.

"All of a sudden we start hearing gunshots and you can imagine, people being very scared at that moment," said Father Jesus Nieto-Ruiz from St. Anthony's Church.

Father Jesus Nieto-Ruiz was leading a memorial service for 15- year-old Jose Luis Buenrostro-Gonzalez, shot and killed last Wednesday by Oakland police.

"When it happens at this level, you know things are out of hand there is no more respect for life, places of worship, we call it holy places," said Father Nieto-Ruiz.

Oakland Police have their hands full, now investigating four shootings in a little over 24 hours.

Early Monday morning, someone shot a person in the chest on East 12th street. Just before midnight, a boy on Hillside Street was shot in the thigh and at 4:00 a.m., another man shot on International Blvd.

In the case of the 15-year-old shot by police, some community residents are charging police brutality.

"I think there's a small group of people pointing their fingers that are emotionally charged. If we were to take a poll, most people understand the situation that the officers were put in by the 15- year-old presenting a sawed off rifle at the officers," said Oakland Police spokesperson Roland Holmgren.

As a community leader, father Nieto-Ruiz says it is his job to instill hope.

"People been saying we used to trust in the police, not we can't trust the police. Then now they say we used to trust that we were safe here in church and now we are not safe here in church but I say, the words of the gospel, do not be afraid," said Father Nieto-Ruiz.

The father is a calming presence in all of this. ACORN will be walking tonight from the ACORN Woodlands school to the Eastmont Police Substation.

ACORN is demanding a full investigation of the 15-year-old boy, and they also want police to release the name of the two officers involved.


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