Another person killed in Oakland as OPD teams up with U.S. Marshals to address gun violence

A shooting in Oakland left one person dead Friday afternoon, as the police chief says all hands are on deck to address gun violence. 

Oakland police said one person was shot and killed just after 3 o'clock on 81st Avenue. There is no information yet on a possible suspect, but we know OPD is now taking a different approach to these investigations with the help of the U.S. Marshals Service.  

"The U.S. Marshals have federal resources that Oakland police and the state police just don’t have, so they’re able to do investigative stuff that helps find suspects and find witnesses that folks in Oakland just don’t have. So I think it makes a big difference," said Peter Dunbar, a retired Bay Area police chief. 

Dunbar worked with a U.S. Marshals task force when he was with OPD. He said they have the resources, software, and ability at the federal level to be able to track people down a lot easier. But he also said the violence is going to continue and this is just one tool to help stop it. 

"You also have to have more officers, whether that’s highway patrol, sheriffs, which we’ve used before. You need more people to be out there in those hot spot areas to ideally stop the crime before it happens, and get the guns off the street," said Dunbar.

But recruiting has been difficult. Dunbar said people are afraid to become police officers right now. 

Departments across the country are struggling to recruit more officers. 

At the same time, violence in Oakland persists.

"You see the dentist that was killed because her boyfriend was trying to get the money from her accounts, you see people that are killed on the streets trying to stop a catalytic converter from being stolen. That didn’t used to happen. So the randomness and the level of violence is just unchecked," said Dunbar. 

Community members want to be part of the solution too. On Friday night, dozens of people participated in a walk to combat gun violence.

"We are going to need to walk in strength in our communities," said Maurice Harper, a member of the parish council at St. Columba Catholic Church. 

The group's goal is to work alongside police to get the people involved in gangs and drugs to turn their lives around. 

"Growing up here I’ve always heard there’s a murder happening on this street, on this street, that street. And now that I’m older I really want to make change and that’s why I’m here," said Chris Moreno, one of the group's leaders and a member of Faith and Action East Bay.