5 wounded, 1 killed in shooting at vigil in Oakland

June 23, 2010 11:58:16 AM PDT
Police are searching for the gunmen behind a deadly shooting in Oakland overnight. One young woman died and five people were wounded when they gathered to mourn the victim of an earlier shooting. It comes a day before Oakland is set to make a budget decision about their police department.

There were dozens of shots fired about midnight inside the gates of an apartment building on 8th Street near Addison. There were 20 or 30 young people, 14-19 years of age attending a vigil for a 17-year-old who was shot and killed earlier this week near Eastmont Mall in East Oakland. Suddenly the vigil turned violent and people were wounded.

"And I see one female, one particular female, and I asked 'who is that lying on the ground,' they said 'it's Rachael.' I said 'you are lying,' then I said 'Rachael get up, Rachael get up.' She is not coming back, she is not getting up," said Oakland resident Keishawn McQuirter.

The one not getting up was 19-year-old Rachael Green. Who friends say graduated from high school this year. There were other victims.

"Four of the six (shot) were under the age of 18. There was one 18-year-old that was shot. Right now we have two suspects that we are looking for. We don't have any further information on their whereabouts or motive on the crime," said Jeff Thomason of the Oakland police.

The shooting occurred on the same block where members of the Oakland Police Officer's Association stood on Monday to warn what might happen if the city council lays off dozens of police officers.

"This is a dangerous city; laying off police officers in this city would be a tragedy," said Dominique Arotzarena of the Oakland Police Officer's Association on Monday.

Council President Jane Brunner says if the council can get around the mandatory staffing levels of voter approved Measure Y and get voters to approve a new parcel tax in November -- staffing levels could return to their present level in January.

Next door to the shooting scene is a day care center and Wednesday morning nervous mothers talked about their children's safety and police layoffs.

"I don't feel safe coming from my home here. I feel like I should drive over, or maybe I shouldn't even bring them to school today, because I don't know how safe it is," said Oakland resident Jonte McQueen.

"I know that it is hard with the deficit, but I don't think we are in a place where you could do that considering what is going on in the community," said Oakland resident Cherie Slaughter.

Of the five surviving victims, two are in critical condition and all are expected to survive.

There was no description given to the police of the gunmen.


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