Slain restaurant owner remembered in Oakland

April 9, 2011 7:32:22 PM PDT
The hunt is still on in Oakland for the suspects who shot and killed a popular restaurant owner as he opened for business on Friday morning. The case has shocked a community that is now demanding answers.

Many marched for miles down International Boulevard honoring Jesus Campos and demanding an end to the kind of violence that took his life a day earlier. The popular restaurant owner was shot dead in a botched robbery. To them, he was known as "Chuey."

"This is one of those crimes that cannot go unsolved otherwise it will be another merchant it will be more people," Oakland City Councilman Ignacio de la Fuente said.

In the same Fruitvale District where Campos was killed, hundreds more gathered for a town hall with the mayor and marked the tragedy with a moment of silence. Outside Otaez Restaurant, the memorial grew and so did the crowd of mourners. Many who knew him, while others had only heard of him.

"I do not know him, but I felt like I do," Theresa Butler said.

A former leader of the Fruitvale Merchants Association, Campos had been encouraging store owners to create a network of surveillance cameras in their crime ridden neighborhood. The idea now has the attention of city leaders.

"You hear about incidents like this, and people think 'oh it's not safe to go there.' The reality is particularly over the next few months, it will probably be very safe with more patrols that probably anywhere else," Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said.

Investigators are focused on the surveillance cameras already in place, hoping they captured images of the suspects and the getaway car. Police have also stepped up patrols along International Boulevard.

"It is a priority for us not only to track down the assailants of this tragic incident but also to step up resources in that community so they understand that we care," Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts said.

Those stepped up patrols in neighborhoods like the Fruitvale cost Oakland about $150,000a month. With the city facing a multi-million dollar budget deficit, many here wonder how long the attention will remain on their neighborhood.

Load Comments