Oakland AAPI leaders demand action after latest deadly shooting

Oakland Chinatown leaders demanded action Tuesday in the wake of the latest deadly shooting involving a victim of Asian descent.

Lili Xu, 60, a dentist in the heart of Chinatown, was shot and killed in broad daylight on Sunday near 5th Ave. and East 11th St. in the Little Saigon neighborhood east of Lake Merritt. Her boyfriend was with her at the time.

"They parked, she got out, within seconds, three shots. Who would do that? Who would do something like that?" asked Stewart Chen, a friend of Xu who is president of the Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council.

"The crime just keeps getting more violent with each episode. This one really hits home," said Chen, a chiropractor.

Xu is the latest victim of Asian descent to be killed, robbed or attacked in Oakland. Local leaders say there may be at least one factor driving the attackers.

"So targeting Lili, maybe not, but targeting Asians? Definitely," Chen said.

Carl Chan, president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce said, "They think that we are the ones that, you know, probably won't fight back."

Chan said it's time to break the cycle of violence.

"We cannot be silent anymore, because they think that Asians will be quite silent, but not anymore. So we gotta speak out so that we will not become victims again," Chan said.

Guosong Liu, a friend of Xu, struggled to make sense of the recent attacks.

"Motivation, I mean I try to figure out what is the motivation for these events. Whether it's money, whether it's robbery," Liu said., adding, "Today is her, tomorrow it could be me."

Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said officers were just blocks away trying to stop robberies at the time Xu was killed. He said the department is boosting patrols in Little Saigon. 

"We'll have a heavier presence in that area. Obviously we're going to shift our response to utilize many more undercover officers," Armstrong said.

But some wonder whether that will be enough.

"I'm not only talking about Little Saigon, Chinatown or the Asian community," Chan said. "All these police resources gotta be deployed all over to the entire city, so that we can prevent crimes from happening in the first place."

Chen said, "We are humans - we have lives, we have family, and all this random killing - our lives matter too."

The Oakland police department now has 685 sworn officers, including 30 who graduated from the academy on Friday. More officers will graduate in October, another academy with 25 recruits began on Monday.