SAN LEANDRO (CBS SF) — Police said Monday that they are seeking a person of interest in a shooting after a tattoo party early Sunday that left three people dead and three others wounded but haven’t yet established a motive in the case.
“We’re closer today than we were yesterday in determining a motive but we’re still not there and need a little more time,” San Leandro police spokesman Sgt. Doug Calcagno said.
He said at least two suspects were involved in the shooting at the corner of Alvarado Street and Aladdin Avenue shortly before 1:20 a.m. Sunday and there may have been more than that.
Calcagno said police are seeking the public’s help in identifying a person of interest “who may be associated with the group of suspects” in the case.
He described the person of interest as a black man with a light complexion, 18 to 24 years old, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-8, with a slim build, shoulder-length dreadlocks with gold tips, brown eyes, a thin mustache and a goatee.
The man also has upper and lower gold teeth with a design of canines and diamonds, Calcagno said.
Police also are looking for another man but only have a general description of him, which is that he was wearing a dark hoodie, Calcagno said.
Killed in the shooting were 16-year-old Leneasha Northington, 19-year-old Shanice Kiel and 23-year-old Joshua Alford.
Three other people were wounded in the shooting. Calcagno said one of them has been released from a local hospital but the other two victims are still in serious condition.
The shooting occurred about 50 minutes after a tattoo party at a warehouse near Alvarado Street and Aladdin Avenue ended at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Calcagno said.
He said the party was heavily promoted on social media sites such as Facebook and it’s estimated that some 8,000 people were invited.
Estimates of the number of people who actually attended the party range from 100 to 400 people and police currently believe that about 200 people were present, Calcagno.
Although the shooting occurred after the party was over, a large group of people was still in the parking lot, he said.
The suspects were in and around their car when they fired shots and the victims were in and around a green Ford Explorer that belonged to Kiel’s father, according to Calcagno.
It’s unknown whether the suspects had attended the party or arrived afterward, he said.
Most of the witnesses to the shooting fled the scene but police hope they provide information on their tip line at (510) 577-3278, Calcagno said.
However, he admitted that most of the people who attended the party were in their late teens or early 20s and in such an age group “it’s not popular to report back to the police.”
The promoters of the party didn’t get a permit but have been cooperative with police, Calcagno said.
The victims who survived the shooting have provided police with some information but that information is limited and isn’t completely reliable at this point because they’re still under medication, Calcagno said.
Community members Monday mourned the three who were killed on Sunday.
“We’re very saddened by these deaths,” San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy said. “(We will) take steps to prevent events like this from happening again.”
San Leandro High School, where Northington was a sophomore, set up large chart paper for students to write down their thoughts and feelings in the lobby, San Leandro Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Cathey said.
Balloons and pictures of Northington were also placed at the makeshift memorial and grief counselors were available for students and staff, Cathey said.
“There was a lot of sadness (from the students and staff),” Cathey said. “This is a tragic incident.”
“The violence needs to stop,” said Sherri Lyn Miller, who runs a local t-shirt business. “There is no value on human life.”
Miller, who knew Northington and Kiel, saw the girls when they came in to have shirts printed of friends who had passed away.
Kiel was a student at San Francisco State University and a graduate of Berkeley High School.
Of Northington, Miller said, “She was a really sweet girl.”
Miller finished memorial shirts for the girls Monday and delivered them to the site of the shooting.
Miller, who employs a tattoo artist at her shop, described a tattoo party as being one usually done in a home and with small numbers.
“You usually know everybody,” Miller said. “They’re not usually broadcasted on the Internet.”
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