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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Six Adults Wounded at High School Shooting in Oakland

Six adults were wounded, including two in critical condition, during a shooting at a school campus in East Oakland on Wednesday, authorities said.

The shooting occurred around 12:45 p.m. at the King Estates campus of schools located on the 8200 block of Fontaine Street, near Interstate Highway 580 in Oakland’s Oak Knoll/Golf Links neighborhood. The site houses three schools, including the Bay Area Technology School (BayTech), Sojourner Truth Independent Study, and Rudsdale High School, which has a program that serves recent immigrants ages 16-21 who have fled violence and instability in their home countries.

Officials confirmed that all the victims are adults, but have not yet said whether any are older students.

“The victims were affiliated with the school, and we are determining the affiliation at this time,” Oakland Assistant Police Chief Darren Allison said, although he declined to say whether any students or teachers were involved.

Allison said police were seeking at least one suspect but did not have anyone in custody. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also taking part in the investigation.

Three of the wounded were taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland, while the other three were taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, Allison said. Of those victims, he added, three remained hospitalized Wednesday evening, two of them with life-threatening injuries, while one person had been released and two others were expected to be released soon.

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 counselors were being made available for students, but did not say whether the schools at the site would be open Thursday.

“We want these [schools] to be oases for our kids. These are safe places,” he said. “This has to stop. Our city cannot keep going on like this.”

Just last month, a 13-year-old student was shot and wounded by a peer at Madison Park Academy, a nearby middle school, in an incident police later determined to be an accident.

In a statement, teachers with the Oakland Education Association, the teachers union, said, “We call on the Oakland Unified School District to support Black and Brown students, listen to the concerns of Oakland’s communities about keeping schools open as safe spaces, retain staff, attract more mental health professionals, and put more investment in community schools to support every student’s entire well-being.”

Television footage showed dozens of police cars and yellow tape on the street outside the campus as students poured out of buildings.

Some parents waited in backed-up traffic for more than an hour to get to their children.

“You go on autopilot. You do what you can to get straight there,” said Clarisse Woods, who rushed to the area after being alerted that her kids’ nearby elementary school was on lockdown. “It was scary.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said on Twitter that Wednesday’s gun violence “shocks the soul — our schools are sanctuaries for our children. The unbridled access to firearms in our country is inexcusable.”

Oakland City Councilmember Treva Reid said investigators told her the shooting may be tied to rising “group and gang violence.”

The shooting comes just a day after Oakland’s 96th homicide of the year, which was one of the more than half a dozen within the last two weeks. On Tuesday, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong announced his department was “going all-hands-on-deck to address gun violence in the city,” with plans to deploy additional officers in parts of East and West Oakland in areas where he said armed “groups and gangs” responsible for many of the shootings are known to congregate.

“This is a difficult time in the city of Oakland,” he added.

James Jackson, chief executive of Alameda Health System, also noted an increase in violence.

“We’ve seen almost a doubling of the violent crimes victims that we’re seeing here at our facility [Highland Hospital]. So something has changed,” Jackson said.

Sept. 29: Per OUSD’s initial press briefing, the original version of this story stated there were four schools, rather than three, at the King Estates complex. Two of those schools — Rudsdale Continuation and Rudsdale Newcomer high schools are now merged as Rudsdale High School.

 

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