OPD chief says recent shootings highlight larger problem

January 29, 2013 10:07:57 PM PST
Officials in Oakland are addressing a new spike in violent crime -- the drive-by shooting of an 8-year-old girl, and two officer-involved shootings over the last eight days. The police chief says it highlights a larger problem: violent criminals unafraid to fire a weapon anytime, anywhere.

Tuesday, police and California state parole officers interviewed several adults at the same house in the 2,200 block of 65th Avenue where the 8-year-old was shot. Police haven't given many details, but took one man into custody before they left the scene.

"We will catch the shooter and we are coming after you with all resources possible and with deliberate speed," Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said.

Jordan has called the officers who serve the city "the last line of defense for our society," but recently, it has been his officers who have been targeted.

Last week, two officers were shot -- one in the arm and one in the leg. An undercover officer was beaten and shot after being pulled from his car in the 1700 block of Seminary Avenue. He had been investigating a murder from the day before. Police arrested two men for parole violations and say one is responsible for shooting the officer in the arm. Then, a second officer was shot in the leg while chasing a man with a gun on East 12th Street and 47th Avenue. Police arrested that shooter.

To fight crime, police say they need witnesses to come forward, but City Councilmember Noel Gallo says staffing shortages within the Oakland Police Department present a separate challenge.

"The 911 people are 20 staff short; you stay online for two-hours, well, I'm sorry, we couldn't get to you because there wasn't an officer available," Gallo said.

Police have not said if the person taken into custody has a connection to the shooting or if the home was targeted. But they did tell me that he is not the shooter of the 8-year-old.


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