Oakland's murder rate is quickly climbing after this weekend's shootings. Police are hoping that a new batch of police officers who start the job this weekend will help. Twenty-four of the 80 police officers laid off last year were reinstated under a new city budget and they began taking refresher training Monday -- just in time for a spike in shootings in the city.
"The babies are dying, the children are dying here," Oakland resident Sandra Rollerson said.
For the mothers of East Oakland, the sight of yellow tape blocking their streets, yellow sheets covering their children and the coroner's vans driving them away has become an all too familiar scene.
"It's babies killing babies," Amika Green said.
This is what the residents of Dowling Street in East Oakland witnessed Monday; a young man shot dead at 10:30 a.m. It makes for the fourth murder in less than 72 hours and comes on the heels of a bloody weekend in Oakland.
It started when the sun went down Friday evening with two non-fatal shootings. Then, there were two more on Saturday, including a 16-year-old boy shot dead. And early Sunday morning, two more murders over the span of just 13 minutes, one of them a woman who had just celebrated her 26th birthday.
"He was a good kid, he never got in any trouble," one of the victims' grandmother Patricia Ekwedelem said.
Najon Jackson was visiting his grandmother in East Oakland; he was outside talking on his cell phone Saturday night when he was killed. His brother murdered in West Oakland just last year.
Police say the only thing that connects this weekend's murders is the widespread availability of guns and the young people firing them
"So when you have guns on your person on your body it's very easy when there's any type of personal dispute its very accessible, there s no cooling off period, you grab the gun and you use it," Oakland Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Holly Joshi said.
There have been 71 murders so far this year and residents in East Oakland wonder if anyone is paying attention...
"Now if they take it up here in them hills and start killing white people then they'll do something, but this is crazy," Oakland resident Sandra Rollerson said.
The murder rate now stands at 71, about 20 more murders than this time last year.