June 16 Oakland shooting: 15 shots fired after ‘sideshow’ invades peaceful celebration near Lake Merritt, police say

OAKLAND, California. (KGO) — Fifteen people were shot after an illegal “show” took place during a peaceful Juneteenth celebration in Oakland, police said Thursday.

The incident occurred around 9 p.m. when Oakland police and firefighters responded to Grand and Euclid avenues following reports of multiple shootings at a large gathering of about 5,000 people.

Police said the event was peaceful until a fight broke out just after 8 p.m. when an illegal performance took place at Grand and Bellvue avenues. Several shots were fired, injuring several people.

VIDEO: OPD provides update on mass shooting near Lake Merritt during Juneteenth event

Oakland police released new details about a shooting that left 15 people shot and 1 assaulted at a Juneteenth celebration at Lake Merritt Wednesday night.

Video provided to ABC7 News by an anonymous source captured hundreds of people running for cover.

“We have everything from minor gunshots or bodily injuries to missing fingers to some people still in critical condition,” Oakland Police Chief Floyd Mitchell said.

Mitchell confirmed there were multiple shooters in the crowd.

“Unfortunately, these fights escalated and several people fired their firearms and over 50 shell casings were recovered from this location,” Mitchell said.

We found several bullet holes in a car parked on Grand Avenue. This business owner said there was a lack of police presence in the area before the violence.

PREVIOUS REPORT: At least four people shot near Lake Merritt in Oakland during Juneteenth celebration, police say

“Yesterday they had police cars. They had three or four police cars here during the day and since everything happened last night and got out of control, there was a police car right there on the corner of Grant,” said Brad Howard, a police officer. Oakland owner.

Oakland police said they had 30 officers on scene.

“What happened last night was their responsibility,” Howard said.

We asked them about their response.

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Luz Pena: “You said you had police on scene, but I saw video of the incident, and it looked really chaotic, and I didn’t see any police in that area. You said that ‘there were 30. Where were they?’

Deputy Head. James Beere: “Thirty, but you have to understand that the lake is a big footprint in this area. They were spread all over the area.”

The chief backed away and said that wasn’t the only priority Wednesday night.

Luz Pena: “Would you say you were exhausted because so much happened last night in Oakland that you couldn’t really react to what was happening in Lake Merritt?”

Chief Mitchell: “No, I wouldn’t say that. No, we had people there, but you have to understand that it’s a big city, with almost 500,000 inhabitants. We had special agents there to ensure a big visibility. We also had a shooting. What Chief Beere just talked about. We also responded to a homicide that happened before that. But we can’t say we can be. everywhere and at any time.

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After the shooting, police said the officers attempted to guide the crowd to a safe area, but some individuals in the crowd punched and pushed the officers, lightly injuring them.

Another person was injured in an assault that occurred after they crashed through the hood of one of the vehicles involved in the show and the occupants got out and attacked them, Oakland Police Chief Floyd Mitchell said , during a press conference.

Investigators found more than 50 shell casings at the scene.

At least one shooting victim was in critical condition. The ages of the victims varied between 20 and 30 years old.

No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting, according to OPD. However, one person was arrested for assaulting a police officer.

MORE: 1 killed in shooting near Lake Merritt in Oakland, police say

Juneteenth celebrations in the area were not permitted gatherings, according to Oakland police. The case is still ongoing.

The Oakland Police Officers Association blamed violence against police on understaffing in the department.

“If city leaders truly value public safety, we need to think seriously about adequately staffing the Oakland Police Department,” read a statement released Thursday by the union. “Just yesterday, our officers were stretched thin, handling a homicide, multiple shootings and an incident involving an individual armed with a rifle in addition to the Juneteenth celebration.”

Mitchell said that starting this summer, Oakland police would seek help from other law enforcement agencies and that his department would limit traffic in the melee zone to reduce the possibility of shows. He also said a larger police presence would be planned for July 4.

“The opportunity to celebrate with your family and friends should never be ruined by gunfire,” Mitchell said, adding that the department “will work tirelessly” to identify and arrest the suspects involved in Wednesday’s shooting.

The Associated Press and Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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