EXCLUSIVE: Bay Area dad calls for action after son hit by bullet at Oakland A's fireworks show

"I could see the hole in his shoulder," said the father, Albert Cotterell IV.

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ByDion Lim via KGO logo
Saturday, July 16, 2022
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The father of an 11-year-old boy shot during July 4 fireworks at A's stadium says authorities are misleading the public by using the term "fragments."

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The father of an 11-year-old boy is coming forward after his son was hit by a full bullet while watching fireworks at the Oakland Coliseum on the Fourth of July. The boy is just one of six people hit by what authorities call "celebratory gunfire." Now his father is calling for changes so no others become victims of gun violence at the Coliseum.

"We went here because it's inside, there's security, officers. We thought it was a safe place to go for the Fourth of July," said Albert Cotterell IV.

"The first fireworks go off and once that happens, my son grabs his shoulder," Cotterell said.

"I lifted up his shirt and I could see the hole in his shoulder. The wound was a crater the size of a penny. Meat and fat from his shoulder were on his shirt," said Cotterell, who showed photos of his son on a gurney, surrounded by first responders the night it happened.

RELATED: Bullet fragments that hit 5 A's fans likely came from within 1 mile of Coliseum, OPD says

Other photos show the 11-year-old lying down on a gurney, being tended to by first responders and later, having the bullet removed from his elbow.

On July 5, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong, the A's, and Mayor Libby Schaaf told the public those individuals were hit by bullet fragments.

It wasn't until ABC7 News broke the story of a 26-year-old East Bay woman being shot at the event, that OPD acknowledged attendees being hit by actual bullets, not fragments. The woman had a full round removed from being shot in the hand. An X-ray showed her swollen limb and the length of the bullet, which, according to firearms experts, appears to be from an AK-47 or similar style weapon.

Cotterell and the family of the woman agree that the term "fragments" was misleading.

EXCLUSIVE: East Bay man says daughter hit by full bullet, not 'fragment' at Oakland A's game

"Reduce it down to a fragment? Come on. That's not right, you guys," Cotterell said.

ON Friday, at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority Meeting, officials re-iterated that Oakland police say the gunfire came from a mile away. Officials also say there was no security breach on Coliseum property.

We consulted with two firearms experts, including Donald Max Noel, who spent 31 years with the FBI.

Noel said it's nearly impossible to determine the distance a bullet travels.

"You've got weather conditions, wind, and a lot of determining factors. All of those are variables. To determine how far that round was fired from is extremely problematic," he said.

When asked if it was possible the shots were fired from the parking lot, Noel said, "I'm sure that's possible."

RELATED: 65% of Bay Area residents say fear of crime keeps them from visiting big city downtowns

However, he said it would be challenging to determine that as well.

ABC7 reached out to the A's organization and OPD for additional comment but we are waiting to hear back.

Cotterell said he heard from an executive with the A's shortly after the 4th. But it wasn't with a message he wanted to hear.

"He extended his condolences and offered my son and us tickets to the A's game in a suite and buy food for that game," Cotterell said.

He said the next part of the offer was "downright insulting."

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"They told him he'd bring him out on the field before a game, which is literally the place he got shot, and he's 11. For me, as his dad, it's a little too soon. I was offended at the very least," Cotterell said.

The father says his son is resilient but never wants to attend a baseball game again. Cotterell is now asking the A's and the city to do better.

"There needs to be some remedy offered to him. It's not about me, it's not about his mom, it's about the six people that got shot. That's it -- and preventing other people getting shot," he said.

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