OAKLAND, Calif. - Interim Oakland police Chief Susan Manheimer on Friday put anyone who would commit violence in Oakland on notice saying police are out in the community and will stop it as it has increased recently.
Officers have made four arrests in five recent killings. Two of those were double homicides. One man was arrested Thursday following a day-long standoff with police, which ended peacefully.
The calls and comments from other police leadership Friday come following a City Council resolution that passed unanimously Tuesday making gun violence the top priority for police in Oakland. At that meeting, Manheimer expressed enthusiastic support for that aim.
"We are getting the firepower off the streets," she said at Friday's briefing, and at one point noted the cache of guns laid out in the lobby of police headquarters where the briefing was held at noon.
Homicides in Oakland are up to 80 this year from 58 in 2019. This year, six children have been killed, compared with none last year.
Guns and ShotSpotter technology have been going off three to four times every day recently. Sometimes 50, 60 or 80 rounds of gunfire are heard in rapid succession, she said.
Manheimer called the overall spike in violence "unprecedented" and "uncharted" and something that has been mirrored in cities around the nation. She said it started when the pandemic did.
Police are retooling to address the violence especially now that the pandemic has eased. They stressed they will use their Ceasefire strategy, which has been successful in the past.
"Know that we will continue with that strategy," Assistant Police Chief Darren Allison said.
Police are working with the Oakland Department of Violence Prevention and community groups to stem the violence and give the people involved alternatives.
"But make no mistake about it," Manheimer said. "If you will fire high powered weaponry that has our familymembers ducking as they're eating dinner at their kitchen table, we will be out there holding you accountable."
Over 1,000 guns have been seized this year alone, she said, which is over 36 percent more than in all of 2019.
One of the double homicides occurred Sept. 28 when two people were killed within 30 minutes at separate illegal gambling shacks. One body was dumped in a homeless encampment.
"The two cases have both been linked ballistically," Lt. Frederick Shavies of the Police Department's homicide section, said.
Dominic Glover and Gregory Ignacio were arrested Thursday. Police believe they are responsible for those slayings one of which was in the 1700 block of Church Street and the other in the 2400 block of International Boulevard.
Last week, a double homicide occurred in the 1900 block of 84th Avenue where a third person was wounded. Police believe Hassan Dbouk carried out that shooting. He was arrested Thursday following a long standoff and hostage situation. Dbouk was charged Friday morning, police said.
Then on Oct. 15, a man killed someone at 89th Avenue and International Boulevard, an area "troubled by narcotics trafficking," Shavies said. He said that a suspect, Carlton Coleman, was taken into custody earlier this week.
Police also made an arrest in a 2018 homicide case. David Martin was arrested for allegedly killing someone in the 1700 block of 28th Avenue in November.
"We can't do this alone," Shavies said. "The community has helped us solve these crimes."
Manheimer said at least one reason behind the rise in violence is a huge spike in group/gang conflicts.
In calls with police chiefs in other major cities, she said the chiefs believe there are many reasons for the rise in violence and some of those are just guesses. The areas affected by the violence are the same ones disproportionately affected by the pandemic, according to Manheimer.
She also said that youth are involved in the violence because they have no structured activities like they did when school was held in-person. Stress, anxiety, lack of structure and lack of opportunities are all things contributing to youth participation, she said.