7 arrested in "Operation Ceasefire" in Oakland


Officers from the Oakland Police Department and several other agencies started serving the warrants Thursday morning before the sun came up.

By Thursday afternoon Oakland police had to investigate a shooting death that happened in East Oakland. It came on the heels of the massive warrant sweep.

Investigators say the warmer it gets, the more violent the streets become. Around 4 p.m. there were multiple shootings throughout different parts of East Oakland and gunfire claimed its latest victim just as police were targeting the city's most violent criminals in "Operation Ceasefire."

"As soon as I heard the two shots, I knew it was not fireworks," said neighbor Cindy Sharp.

Investigators aren't saying much about the mid-afternoon shooting in Oakland's Iveywood Neighborhood. They would only confirm that a male victim was struck at least once by a shot that proved to be fatal. Crime scene investigators peppered the sidewalk of the block of 99th Avenue with evidence markers while officers canvased the neighborhood for witnesses.

"It makes me nervous because there are kids. It's the first time in two years I've ever heard gunshots from this area," said Sharp.

Her concerns are exactly what Oakland police are trying to address through community policing, which puts more officers concentrated in Oakland's problem areas. "Operation Ceasefire" -- a long term strategy with efforts to reduce crime and violence in Oakland -- was the subject of a series of early morning warrant sweeps conducted across the East Bay.

"The very violent activity that we really want to curtail and put a stop to," said Interim Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent. "We have served warrants primarily in East Oakland. The group primarily is in East Oakland; however they commit crimes all over Oakland and all over the Bay Area. While they do engage in a lot of violent crime, they really support themselves through robberies and burglaries, home invasion robberies."

Whent said through "Operation Ceasefire" federal, state and local investigators have identified the most violent offenders who are associated with gangs, homicides, shootings and robberies throughout the city.

"We are still conducting searches to see what kind of evidence has been recovered," said Whent.

Seven warrants were served in East Oakland, one each in Hayward, Fremont and Antioch. Five people were taken into custody and an additional two turned themselves in on Thursday afternoon. Police have made it clear they will continue their hunt for those who remain at large.

Thursday's murder added to the caseload of an understaffed police department, just when it seems violent crime is on the rise.

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