OAKLAND (KCBS) — A woman was shot and killed in front of her young child near Oakland Children’s Hospital Wednesday night; the fourth homicide this week, authorities said.
The woman was reported shot at 8:43 p.m. near the corner of 54th Street and Shattuck Avenue—just blocks from the Children’s Hospital & Research Center. The victim’s four-year-old son was found unharmed at her side.
Police said the four-year old is a key witness in the shooting death of his 21-year-old mother.
Chief Howard Jordan said the shooting was “very tragic.”
He said he fears that, “For a 4-year-old boy to witness a shooting like this will be a memory in his mind for a long time. I don’t know how he’ll recover.”
Police said the mother was from San Leandro but didn’t release her name or age.
“No one should have to witness that type of violence at all, especially at four-years-old. That’s something he will have to live with for the rest of his life and I’m not sure how well he’s going to do after last night, because that’s an image that will probably be in his memory for a while,” said Jordan.
While playing in a squad car, the unnamed child was able to tell investigators what he saw, said Jordan.
Police said two men in a rusty, black four-door car were witnessed fleeing the scene.
A second woman was with the woman who was fatally shot and sought medical treatment, Jordan said. He didn’t elaborate on the second woman’s injuries except to say that she wasn’t hit by gunfire.
Jordan said he went to the shooting scene because he was working late to help oversee a major operation in which police and FBI agents served warrants at the Acorn housing complex in West Oakland.
He said when he first saw the 4-year-old boy, whose first name is Joshua, he was sitting in a patrol car and playing with an officer’s flashlight.
Jordan said he gave the boy a police sticker and swore him in as a junior police officer.
Another officer later took the boy to a nearby McDonald’s restaurant to get some food, he said.
Jordan said the shooting of the woman in front of her young boy is “very personal” for him because he has young children himself.
The boy is now with other family members, he said.
The homicide was the fourth shooting death in the city this week—and the 31st homicide for the year.