Police investigates Oakland murders

June 23, 2008 7:13:51 PM PDT
The first days of summer turned into an especially bloody weekend in Oakland.

Police in Oakland say six people were killed over the weekend in unrelated shootings, even though some of the homicides occurred within a few blocks of each other. That brings the number of homicides, so far, in Oakland to 65.

"Who else are they going to get? They let these criminals go. They just leave, they just go, they leave," said frustrated Oakland neighbor Makeda Shabaka.

The frustration over the number of homicides in Oakland is shared by many.

Six over the weekend -- two of those were brothers, who lived in a house on Bromley Avenue. A third victim was taken to the hospital. Police know the motive of the brothers' killer.

"Drug trade," said Ronald Holmgren from Oakland Police.

Shabaka is a neighbor. She, like others, is tired of saying the shootings have to stop.

"Where is justice? We could go through this. We can fight through this but we need this creature found, we need this creature found, we need him found so he doesn't do this to anyone else," said Shabaka.

Police say violence in Oakland goes up during the summer months when the days are longer.

The sideshows become an arena of violence.

"You've got people out there with alcohol, people showing off, the mob mentality, all those things fall into place, there are a whole bunch of things," said Holmgren.

The skid marks were still there on Monday morning, at the 5900 block of Foothill Boulevard where 31-year-old Matthew Thomas of San Leandro was killed and another injured.

"Someone sees an enemy or someone they don't like, bullets just start flying," said former Oakland resident Shelly Newton.

The number of homicides in Oakland is now up to 65. There were 44 this same time last year. Hiring more officers would help, but Oakland P.D. says it wouldn't, by any means, stop the killings.

"When the police officer drives by guess what? The homicides still happen. You would think you'd be safe walking to your car with a bag of groceries but then you have someone shooting someone in the car next to you," said Holmgren.

Police say just as frustrating is when people don't come forward to help them solve these crimes.

"I think basically people need to stick together, the community sticking together. Someone's son, brother or uncle got shot last night, tonight it could be someone else," said former Oakland resident Tara Bailey.


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