Shooting at California school campus leaves at least six people injured

<span>Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters</span>

Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

At least six people were injured in a Wednesday shooting at a northern California school campus, Oakland police Capt Casey Johnson said during a news conference.

Three of the wounded were in critical condition at Highland hospital in Oakland, the other three were taken to Eden medical center in Castro Valley and their conditions were not known, officials said.

The shooting happened on a street where there are multiple schools and houses many school-age children, the TV station reported.

The incident is “no longer active”, said Alameda county sheriff’s office spokesperson Lt Ray Kelly.

Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf tweeted that all of the wounded were adults and the shooting happened at Sojourner Truth Independent Study, an alternative kindergarten through 12th grade school that is located on the same block as three other schools.

Paramedics had transported six patients to hospitals, all with gunshot wounds, according to Oakland fire department spokesperson Michael Hunt.

John Sasaki, a spokesperson for Oakland Unified school district, said in a statement that district officials “do not have any information beyond what Oakland police are reporting”. He said the Sojourner Truth Independent Study headquarters has no students.

The Oakland police department tweeted that officers were investigating a shooting on Fontaine Street, where the schools are located.

The day before Wednesday’s shooting LeRonne Armstrong, Oakland’s chief of police, announced plans to address the city’s ongoing gun violence by increasing officers’ presence in areas where gun violence is concentrated and where police think people are involved in shootings frequently.

This most recent shooting comes after more than two years of elevated gun violence that began early in the pandemic. So far this year 96 people have been killed, mostly with guns. At this time last year 102 people were slain.

Prior to the pandemic, homicides and gun violence in Oakland – along with a number of cities across the region – were reaching historic lows. But by mid-2020 gun violence was on the upswing and the usual refuges of school, community centers and violence prevention workers were largely unavailable. By the end of the year, 102 people were killed, 24 more than the year before.

The city’s youth have not been spared from this increase in homicides. In 2020, at least 14 people under the age of 20 were killed, according to a Guardian analysis of state homicide data. The next year more would lose their lives including 18-year-old Demetrius Fleming-Davis, an Oakland native who was shot and killed while riding in the back of a truck.

“A lot of us have plans that we can’t even make happen because we die at 18 and 19. It’s just a big war zone that we’re facing and I don’t know how it’s gonna be stopped,” said Cianna Williams, a 19-year-old friend of Fleming-Davis last year.

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