Carpenter who died almost 2 months after Oakland school shooting remembered as a hero

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Saturday, November 19, 2022
Victim of shooting on Oakland school campus has died: Police
One of the victims in the September shooting on the King Estates school campus in Oakland has died, police say.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- One of the victims in the September shooting on the King Estates school campus in Oakland has died, according to police.

That person has been identified as David Sakurai, a building and grounds employee.

"On a personal note, I'm distraught," said Seth Feldman, Bay Technology School Superintendent.

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"We are stunned. I'm almost speechless. Certainly wasn't expecting to hear that," said Cesley Frost, BayTech Middle School Principal.

In an email, the director of the Oakland Unified School District buildings and grounds department broke the news to his staff.

Sakurai was a carpenter for the school district and described as a valued employee since 2004. At the complex where he was shot along with five others, the superintendent of the charter school on campus remembers Sakurai as someone who always wanted to help.

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"He was a very friendly, kind, respectful, gentle human being who just lent a hand and he didn't care are you a charter school or an OUSD school. He just lent a hand," said Feldman.

In a statement the school district described Sakurai as a beloved staff member saying in part:

"We are devastated by the loss of David, and we are heartbroken for his family and community. He will be profoundly missed. Our community mourns the loss of an OUSD hero."

The last memory Seth Feldman has of David is when he went out of his way to do something that played a key role in saving lives the day of the shooting.

RELATED: Video released by Oakland police shows 2 suspects running up to school with firearms

"He helped us this summer install our wireless PA and bell system. Which we used during that day," said Feldman and added, "We are actually eternally grateful for his work because it kept us safe and secure on that day."

One of Sakurai's co-workers who did not want to be on camera said David was hoping to retire in the upcoming years. He is now is urging the district and city officials to do more to protect students and staff.

Oakland police confirms no arrests have been made in this shooting.

Read OUSD's full statement below:

Dear Oakland Unified Community,

It is with a very heavy heart that we write to share with you the tragic loss of one of our dedicated and beloved staff members.

David, as he was known to his friends and colleagues, was a carpenter who served in our Buildings and Grounds Department for 18 years. He passed away on Thursday, after fighting to recover from injuries he sustained during the King Estates tragedy on September 28.

We are devastated by the loss of David, and we are heartbroken for his family and community. He will be profoundly missed. Our community mourns the loss of an OUSD hero and will be forever grateful for David's nearly two decades of service to our students, families, staff and schools.

David lived in the East Bay. As a carpenter, he would do numerous projects to upgrade and beautify our campuses across the District, including installing ceiling tile, installing cabinetry and whiteboards, repairing and replacing wooden stairs, and helping our glazers replace windows. On the day of the incident, David was at the King Estates campus to install new countertops.

He was well-known for his sense of humor, and as someone who loved working for the District. He loved the camaraderie he had with his team, and colleagues never saw him upset about anything.

While we are ensuring David's immediate department is supported through this terrible loss, we understand that violence in our community impacts us all. Please call on the services available for support. All OUSD employees have access to the following resources:

  • Ability Assist Counseling Services

The District offers Ability Assist Counseling Services through The Hartford. Getting support is easy and 100% confidential. For more information call 1-800-964-3577 or click the following link: Ability Assist Counseling services.

  • OUSD Wellness Support Resources

Please visit the District's Wellness Support Resources website for additional support: OUSD Wellness Support Resources

  • Company Nurse: Reporting Workplace Illness or Injury

To report a work related illness or injury you can contact the Company Nurse.

Please call or click the following link for more information or to initiate a claim: Employee Injury Hotline & Support - 855-720-0240

  • Care Solace

We care about your well-being and have partnered with Care Solace, a mental health care coordination service, to help you and your family connect to quality care. This is a free resource for you and your family paid for and provided by Oakland Unified School District. If you are looking for help with mental health or substance use, Care Solace will quickly and confidentially find available providers matched to your needs: Care Solace

There will soon be a time to honor David's life, and we will make sure the entire community knows when and where that will happen. But for now, we ask everyone to give his family and loved ones privacy in this time of grief.

In community,

Dr. Sondra Aguilera
Acting Superintendent

Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell

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