Man killed in 'heinous crime' by Oakland's Lake Merritt ID'd

Oakland police announced that it plans to hold a community meeting next week to address the deadly violence in the Lake Merritt area, as the medical examiner identified the latest homicide victim who was killed in the area during a robbery.

Devon Stanford became the city's 31st homicide victim of the year when he was shot along the 1200 block of Lakeshore Avenue about 9 p.m. Wednesday.

"I was out on my balcony and I heard a loud boom.  I looked down and essentially heard someone say I'm shot," said neighbor Jake Lawrence, who added that people tried to help before police and fire arrived. "It made me really upset.  I obviously feel for the victim and his family." 

A friend said the 33-year-old was from Austin, Texas.  He said Stanford loved Oakland so much he decided to move there more than five years ago.

A law enforcement source said Stanford was assaulted, robbed and dragged by a car before being shot.

MORE: Homicide near Oakland's Lake Merritt was robbery that resulted in shooting, police say

He died of a single gunshot wound to his chest at the hospital.

Neighbors and witnesses said they're saddened but not surprised by the violence.

Lake Merritt is a popular spot for people looking to get outdoors for exercise and fresh air.

"I'm not surprised at all.  It's part of living in this city.  It's getting worse.  It's getting brazen," said Elyse Weiner of Oakland.

Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said that the department was looking for video evidence to help identify the people responsible for this "heinous crime." 

He said this is the third homicide in the area since November.

Arrests have been made in the other two cases including the homicide in November of 22-year- old Michelle Aleman,  the mother of a young daughter.

 "We're reaching out to community members to have a community discussion next week," said Armstrong.

Police have not released any suspect or vehicle description. But a witness told KTVU the suspect vehicle that sped off was a light-colored sedan.