1 killed as residents seek end to violence


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"Awful lot of shots, many shots, and this early in the morning," said Lt. Mark Foisie with the San Pablo Police Department.

The gunfire erupted on the Richmond-San Pablo border shortly after 7:00 a.m. A drive-by shooting left a young man dead as he ran toward his family's house. Investigators believe the shots were fired from inside a car.

"We found Francisco Perez, who's 20 years old from Richmond, deceased in the front yard of his family's home over here on Maricopa," said Lt. Foisie.

Police are still trying to piece together clues, like whether a hat left in the middle of busy 23rd Street belonged to the victim or the shooter.

It is the third killing so far this year in San Pablo. There have been 30 already in neighboring Richmond.

Wednesday morning's violence took place just hours after a National Night Out anti-violence event ended in the East Bay and another one began.

"That's the reason we're out here today," said Nicole Lee, director of Urban Peace Movement. "We're really disheartened to hear about the loss of life, and to hear that another young man's life was tragically taken through senseless violence."

Anti-violence activists say the key is to give at-risk young people hope through activities and jobs.

About 15 local companies signed up for a "Silence the Violence" job fair at the Coliseum in Oakland looking to hire at-risk youth.

"We all have to start paying attention because if you wait, eventually it will get to the neighborhood you live in and then it will be too late, and so we really have to pay attention to it even when it's not in our own neighborhoods," said Lee.

The irony of a morning homicide just hours earlier wasn't lost on those hoping to spread an anti-violence message.

"It's saying that this is our reality," said Oakland resident Andria Batise.

"We've had 14 homicides and it's August," said Oakland resident Venus Morris. "That's not good."

Those 14 homicides are just the ones that she can remember in her own neighborhood.

A portion of the proceeds from tickets sold will be donated to the Urban Peace Novement's Youth Academy, a violence prevention and youth leadership program in Oakland.

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