OPD: Multiple shooters storm Lake Merritt, motive linked to San Francisco gangs

A deadly shooting at a Juneteenth celebration in Oakland was not random and appears to be connected to feuding gangs from San Francisco, Oakland's police chief said on Monday. 

"We believe that individuals came to the city of Oakland and committed these violent acts," Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said at a news conference. 

Investigators have learned that there were multiple shooters involved in Saturday's incident that left one person dead and seven people injured. The victims were described as three women and five men ranging in age from 16 to their mid-60s. 

Some were targets of the gang rivalry, police said, and others were innocent bystanders. Police did not differentiate who was who. 

The victim who died was a 22-year-old man from San Francisco. His name has not yet been released.

"Some of the victims are tied to a gang or group from San Francisco. And the opposing party is likely a gang or group from San Francisco," said Oakland Police Lt.  Leo Sanchez. "There is no evidence that there are any Oakland gangs involved in this.

Sanchez said there appears to have been some tension between the groups that boiled over once they encountered each other during festivities at the lake.

The family of the dead man told KTVU that they don't believe he was involved in any gang and was caught in the crossfire.

The young man leaves behind a son and is his mother's only child. 

On Saturday, there were more than 10,000 people gathered around Lake Merritt to commemorate Juneteenth, a new federal holiday that observes the end of slavery.

The scene was joyous and peaceful, with community members dancing in the streets and selling wares along the lake.

Hours into the day, at around 6:22 p.m, gunshots rang out in the 2200 block of Lakeshore Avenue near Brooklyn Avenue, sending the more than 5,000 people in that direct area running.

Rev. Damita Davis-Howard, an organizer of Ceasefire, a program to reduce gun violence, said the shooting was shocking as it happened on a day that was supposed to be celebratory.

"This weekend was a tragedy," she said. "This event was about history, about cultural pride. Unfortunately, it was marred by gun violence, which we have been seeing all too often here in Oakland."

Two men were arrested shortly after Saturday's shooting, but police said they are not connected to the incident. They were arrested for being in possession of firearms. 

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Davis-Howard and Chief Armstrong said the community is coming together to find justice for the families involved and to put a stop to the violence.

"We are coming together and if it takes an act of God to stop the violence here in Oakland we're going to bring it down," the reverend said.

A vigil will be held Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Lake Merritt, and Ceasefire will be holding a prayer vigil for the victims of this shooting and others that happened in Oakland this year on June 27 at 5 p.m. in Elmhurst Park.