Reporting Doug Sovern
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OAKLAND (KCBS) — Two groups are at war with each other on the streets of Oakland, after the murder of woman last summer, and the subsequent feud is responsible for “90 percent” of the violence in the city since then, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said Monday.
City officials held a news conference Monday to discuss the alarming wave of shootings in the city over the weekend. Four people were killed Friday and 11 more were wounded since then. Police said one suspect is in custody.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Police Chief Jordan and City Administrator Deanna Santana joined other local leaders in East Oakland to address a disturbing string of shootings in a city that has been plagued by violence and a soaring murder rate.
There were four separate murders within six hours Friday afternoon and evening, with three men and a 17-year-old killed in what police believe were related, retaliatory shootings.
Three people were wounded Saturday afternoon in a shooting on Harmon Street. There was another shooting later that night, followed by two more on Sunday.
According to police, they don’t know if the later crimes were related to incidents on Friday. They’ve been trying to get a grip on the homicide rate and plan to hire former New York and L.A. police chief Bill Bratton as a consultant, but Jordan said there’s no need to formally declare an emergency or to seek more outside help.
“We know who the bad guys are and we’re focused on getting them,” Jordan said, blaming a narrow segment of the population for the uptick in violence. Jordan said the murder of a young man’s girlfriend last year has set off a series of attacks and retaliatory shootings that have had a direct impact on the city’s crime statistics.
Mayor Quan said the problem is exacerbated by the fire power the rival sides are packing.
“These kinds of fights between gangs didn’t used to end with a dozen murders. Because of the availability of guns, we’ve got disputes by very young people and shooters who are very young, who have access to guns that are totally out of control,” said Quan.
Police seized 11 assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and have a warrant for a second murder suspect in connection to at least one of these incidents.
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