OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Two ex-cons have been charged with felony child abuse after a 4-year-old girl was shot while in their care in East Oakland on Tuesday afternoon, prosecutors said Friday.
Oakland police said the girl was with her father, 22-year-old Julius Miller, in a Volvo XC90 that was driven by 21-year-old Marcel Powell. They were fired upon as they drove through the intersection of 81st Avenue and Rudsdale Street at about 4 p.m. and the girl was struck in the chest by gunfire.
Oakland Police Officer Marcos Campos wrote in a probable cause statement that Miller had placed his daughter, Tayani Miller, in the car’s back seat without a child seat.
The car crashed into a tree just up 81st Avenue and Miller and Powell called for help to get the girl to a hospital.
An Alameda County sheriff’s deputy responded and helped transport the girl from 77th Avenue and Macarthur Boulevard to a hospital in his patrol car, according to police. Tayani currently is at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, where she is in stable condition and is expected to survive her injuries.
Officers found a paintball gun next to the crashed car.
The person who shot and injured Tayani remains at large, police said.
Campos said Miller and several friends had bought paintball equipment from a sporting goods store in Tracy and Miller and his friends “fired paintballs at multiple unknown suspected drug addicts (called ‘knocks’) throughout the city of Oakland.”
Campos said Miller told police that he only guided the driver through the city while paintballs were being fired. Campos said, “The shooting of persons with paintballs is a possible motive to the shooting.”
Campos said Miller and Powell told police that they don’t know “the extent of injuries that were produced by the shootings of innocent persons walking the sidewalk in the city of Oakland.”
Powell told police that he was the driver while the paintballs were being fired.
Alameda County prosecutors said they charged Miller and Powell with child abuse because they unlawfully placed the girl in a situation likely to produce great bodily harm and endanger her health.
Prosecutors said Miller has two prior convictions in Alameda County for first-degree residential burglary, one in 2012 and one in 2014.
Prosecutors said Powell has a prior conviction for first-degree residential robbery in San Joaquin County in 2012.
Miller and Powell were scheduled to be arraigned Friday. They normally would be arraigned at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland but most courtrooms are closed because of the parade for the Golden State Warriors so it’s expected that they will be arraigned at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.
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