OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Police in Oakland on Friday afternoon confirmed that the double homicide suspect arrested after an hours-long standoff Thursday was wanted in connection with a triple shooting earlier this month that left two people dead.
During the hostage situation and standoff that began late Thursday morning, Oakland authorities had confirmed that the suspect in question was wanted in connection with a double homicide.
It was not until Friday that police confirmed the double homicide was the brazen daylight shooting on the 1900 block of 84th Avenue that happened on October 14.
Oakland Police Lieutenant Fredrick Shavies spoke about the arrest during a press conference Friday afternoon.
“Through our investigation, we were able to locate the gentleman responsible for the triple shooting and double homicide that had occurred that afternoon,” said Shavies. “We were able to take him into custody yesterday following a long standoff that ended peacefully.”
The gunman had been barricaded in a commercial building in a standoff with police for about six hours. Oakland police spokesperson Johnna Watson said that the suspect had voluntarily surrendered to officers just moments before 5 p.m.
Shavies said the suspect was charged for the Oct. 14 shooting Friday morning by the Alameda County District Attorney.
Oakland police also announced arrests in four other homicides. Three were for recent crimes with three people arrested in connection with two homicides on September 28 and one person arrested for a homicide on October 15.
There was also another person arrested in connection with a murder case from 2018, police confirmed.
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Oakland police hope the recent arrests and the reboot of the Ceasefire Program will help contain a recent surge in homicides. Interim police chief Susan Manheimer said the department has recorded 80 homicides so far this year. In the same period last year, she said there were 58 homicides.
Manheimer blamed gang activity and the early release of prisoners due to COVID-19 for the increase in homicides.
“They’re coming home this time without re-entry services, without a plan, and without resources,” said Chief Manheimer.
The Oct. 14 shooting at around 12:45 p.m. followed a confrontation between a number of individuals and left two people dead and a third person wounded. The young men who were shot were 18, 19, and 23 years old.
The chief said the pandemic has also contributed to a rise in criminal activity involving minors. The chief said six juveniles have been killed by gun violence so far in 2020. Last year, no juveniles died in shootings.
Manheimer said because of COVID, kids cannot attend school in person. Additionally, recreation centers have either closed or scaled back activities and hours and many afterschool and athletic programs have been cancelled.
“These juveniles have no structure, no intervention, support, mentoring from those adult relationships,” said Chief Manheimer.
Investigators said many of the recent homicides and violence happened in East Oakland.
During the recent arrests, they seized close to 20 handguns and assault rifles.
“[They are] weapons of war. These are not weapons that should be anybody’s community. But yet, we’ve seen them used in East Oakland,” said Deputy Chief Leronne Armstrong.
Oakland native Miguel Lopez said he moved out of Oakland with his three kids due to gun violence.
“Oakland is a crazy city, you know? Opening the front door, seeing people get shot or get shot at or even hearing the bullet shots. You’ve got kids in the front yard, running into the house,” said Lopez.
His kids attend a youth program in East Oakland. He said he was saddened that gun violence has killed six kids this year.
“It needs to stop” said Lopez. “They are our future, you know? They are our future.”
Police said they restarted the Ceasefire Program earlier this week to help stop the violence. Through the program, authorities and church leaders can now meet with gang members and offer them jobs and other services.
The in-person meetings were suspended earlier this year due to COVID-19.
“We deliver a tailor-made message to the people who attend these meetings around their particular circumstances,” said Captain Tony Jones.
A part of the ceasefire program also involves the so called “Night Walks.” On Friday night, community members and leaders plan to march and talk to at-risk people about the options and services available to them.
More information on the Ceasefire program is available on the Oakland city government website.