An 8-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl were caught in the crossfire of a shooting in East Oakland Wednesday morning as gun violence rages out of control in the community.
On “June 16, 2021, at 11:25 a.m., OPD officers responded to the 10700 block of Acalanes Drive on reports of gunshots,” police stated. "Upon arrival, officers located an 8-year-old male, and a 12-year-old female, who had both been struck by debris. During the preliminary investigation, it was determined bullets traveled through multiple surfaces, including a wood deck, where wood fragments struck the children causing minor injuries. Both children received medical treatment on-scene; neither went to a local hospital.”
No arrests have been made. Police are still investigating what the motive was.
“At this time, it is unknown what led to the shooting,” police stated. “We are asking our community who may have video surveillance in the area, to please check your recordings. You may have captured the crime before, during, or after the shooting. We encourage our community to provide any information that may lead to the identity of those responsible for this shooting.”
The shooting involving children comes as the Oakland City Council is scheduled to take up a proposal to defund its short-staffed and overworked police force.
“Even after thousands of Oaklanders have demanded that the city reduce police spending and instead invest in community services, Mayor Schaaf's proposed Oakland city budget for 2021-2023 would increase the police budget yet again,” read a statement by Defund Oakland Police proponents. “Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas just released her budget proposal on Monday, June 14. While we believe a much larger divestment from law enforcement is necessary, it's promising to see that the Council President’s budget includes a comprehensive audit of the Oakland Police Department and a thorough examination of positions that could be civilianized, moved out of OPD, or a combination of the two.”
“Today, the Oakland Police Department has 717 sworn personnel at all ranks,” according to a statement from the Oakland Police Officers’ Association. “The lowest number in five years — as Oakland faces the highest violent crime rate in a decade. Now the Council’s plan is to defund the Oakland Police Department further. Doesn’t seem like such a good idea. Oakland’s finest will continue to serve as our number attrit down.”
Oakland is experiencing violent crime surges of historic proportions — driven by an explosion in gun violence that has afflicted every neighborhood in the community. With staffing at such a critical low, 911 calls have gone unanswered, including so-called “high priority” calls that oftentimes require the immediate need of a police officer.
“The Council President’s proposed budget would severely decrease police services, especially in our most impacted areas," Mayor Libby Schaaf said. "They would: shrink what is already the lowest per-crime staffed police department in the county during a gut-wrenching spike in gun violence, increase OPD’s unsafe overreliance on overtime and leave even more critical vacancies unfilled, and decimate an already inadequate 911 response to Oaklanders experiencing crisis and needing help.”
“Crime Stoppers of Oakland and the Oakland Police Department are offering a reward up to $5,000 for an arrest in this case,” police said of the injuries to the two youth. “This is an ongoing investigation. If you have any information about this case, please contact our Criminal Investigation Division at (510) 238-3326.”