'I just really want to get his name out there:' girlfriend of Oakland man stabbed to death

Undated photo of Bernard Parker, 27, of Oakland, Calif., who was stabbed in Oakland on June 17, 2023, and died later at a hospital (Rashanda Charles via Bay City News)

The girlfriend of a young man who was stabbed to death in Oakland last month outside a bar wants people to know he meant something to many people, she said in an interview last month.  

Bernard Parker, 27, died early on June 17 at a hospital following the stabbing outside the Ruby Room at 132 14th St.

Parker was the youngest of four boys and a girl and the closest to his mother, who lost a different son in December. 

"I just really want to get his name out there," said his partner, 27-year-old Rashanda Charles. "Because he's not just a nobody. His life really mattered." 

The pair moved to Oakland in March from San Leandro and Parker would go to the Ruby Room to play pool roughly once a week, Charles said. 

Parker was a "social butterfly," she said. He didn't "sit down for long.

He liked to go to local bars and clubs to play pool and meet people, she added. Most of the time he would come home shortly before the bar closed. The couple lived about five minutes from the Ruby Room. 

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Friday, June 16, was a beach day for the family. They got home at about 11:30 p.m. and Parker gave their 2-year-old daughter Jhenea Marae a bath and said he was going outside to smoke a cigarette, Charles said. 

"I'll be right back," Parker told her, she recalled. "I love you. I'm just going downstairs.

Those were the last words Parker said to her. She tried to get him to stay in the house because she had a bad gut feeling. But he wouldn't.

She thought he might go to the Ruby Room. 


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"I gave him about an hour, and I had called him," she said. "It was about 12:30 a.m. and he didn't pick up the phone."

She called him again at about 1:15 a.m. Again, she had a bad gut feeling. Usually, he texted to tell her where he was. 

"I didn't get a response," she said. "OK, let me give it until 2 a.m. because I know he'll come back by then because the bar will be closed."

Then 2:02 a.m. came, and she was panicking, 

"I'm freaking out, blowing his phone up," she said.

Charles believes the police got the phone call at 2:53 a.m. She woke up at 2:57 a.m. and was panicking again. Parker died at 3:17 a.m. at a hospital. 

She found out by reading the news. At least one story gave the address of the stabbing, which she googled and discovered was the Ruby Room. 

She called four hospitals. One gave her the phone number to the coroner's office, which confirmed it had a person named Bernard Parker there with dreadlocks and an identifying tattoo. 

Charles heard an altercation may have occurred before the stabbing. She said Parker would not escalate a confrontation even if he was drunk. Rather he would leave, she said. Charles thinks the perpetrator would not let Parker leave. 

Charles wouldn't eat for five days following her partner's death. Their daughter wakes up screaming, wondering where her dad is. Parker and she were close.

"He loved to be a dad," Charles said of Parker. "He switched our sedan bought a minivan." 

Parker was there for his kids whether it was graduations or school meetings. 

One of Parker's best friends, Mustafa Majeed, echoed that sentiment, citing Parker's care of Charles' two boys before the birth of Jhenea-Marae. 

Majeed said Parker provided for his family. He worked as an in-home health aide caring for seniors and for Amazon, Charles said. 

Another best friend Kaler Hernandez, 26, of Fremont, said Parker was always family-oriented.

"He was a good guy," Hernandez said following more than a decade of friendship.

Parker and Charles were a couple for five years before his death and before that they were best friends following a meeting in high school when they were 15, Charles said. 

Parker liked skateboarding, writing, traveling and music. Charles wants justice for him and to be able to answer her own and her children's questions.  

He wasn't just another Black man killed in Oakland, Charles said.

The couple didn't have life insurance, so Charles started a GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral expenses. The page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/bernard-p.

At least one call to the Ruby Room seeking comment was not returned. 

Police did not immediately respond to say whether anyone has been arrested in the case, whether police have any suspects or leads.