Shocking murder at Pinole bowling alley

June 5, 2008 10:21:18 AM PDT
A brazen murder at a normally safe place, a bowling alley has people in Pinole on edge this evening.

This is one of several bowling alley shootings in recent months.

Police say the killer walked into the Pinole Valley lanes bowling alley Tuesday night. A security camera caught the image at 11:36 p.m. His target was 19-year-old Brandon Young, who was bowling inside.

The place was crowded with more than 100 people. Among them was 18-year old Mihiro Yanai, who was playing pool with her friend.

"At 11:40 we hear a really loud noise. I look in front of us and there's a tall African-American male shooting into the back of someone sitting down. And after that, I hear maybe four to five shots," said Yanai.

At 11:39 p.m., just three minutes after the killer went inside, the security camera caught him running from the scene.

Police say he fled into a neighboring field. They searched but found no one.

ABC7 has learned this is where 25-year-old Rhonda White was last seen just before she was killed in a drive by shooting on Interstate 80 the night of April 3rd.

An investigative source says her killer may have followed her from the bowling alley.

This is the third shooting in a bowling alley in the East Bay since March. Last month, a 26-year-old man was shot at Albany Bowl.

The other shooting reportedly happened at a bowling alley in Alameda.

"This appears to be isolated. I have no knowledge or evidence to suggest this is connected to anything else," said Commander Peter Janke from the Pinole Police Department.

While the three may not be connected, the shootings are shocking because of their boldness.

If you can't feel safe at a bowling alley, where can you be safe? Are these young offenders becoming more brazen than ever?

"It's so easy and so accessible for youth to get their hands on guns these days," said Martaina Hardaway from Youth Uprising.

Hardaway works for Youth Uprising, a group which helps Oakland teenagers. She's noticed how troubled youngsters have become more hardened.

"It really doesn't matter no matter where you're from, it's like now, it's not about the territory anymore. If they want you they're going to find you," said Hardaway.

Youth workers we spoke with blame guns, drugs, the failure of parents and schools and the lack of jobs for the rise in violence.

Pinole Police say there were approximately 100 people inside the bowling alley at the time of the shooting.

They are urging anyone who saw something to give them a call at 510-724-8950.


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