Oakland police investigating 103rd homicide of the year as elected leaders discuss the city's violence

The Oakland Police Department is investigating their 103rd homicide of the year, officials confirmed.

A victim of a shooting arrived at an area hospital with gunshot wounds Wednesday morning and was later pronounced dead, police say. The latest incident took place on the same day elected leaders met to discuss the escalating violence in Oakland. 

The shooting happened on the 600 block of 11th Street shortly before 10 a.m. near Lafayette Square Park in the Old Oakland neighborhood. People in the area said they heard gunfire. 

OPD's homicide unit is investigating the circumstances of the shooting. Police said the investigation is ongoing. 

The city has struggled with violent crime and has seen a recent uptick in often times fatal shootings. Federal, state, and local leaders met in the City of Oakland on Wednesday to discuss the recent increase in violence. 

U.S. Representative Barbara Lee and State Sen. Alex Padilla joined Mayor Libby Schaaf in the gun violence prevention roundtable discussion. Schaaf and community leaders called on the federal government to step in. Sen. Padilla and Rep. Lee said along with federal law enforcement grants and gun laws, they also plan to help get more long-term funding for violence prevention. 

"The federal government needs to bring the cops' grants back to Oakland to help us with our police staffing, our investigations, needs to declare a health emergency so that we can use health funding to do the deep violence prevention and intervention work that we know is needed, particularly as we are seeing more and more young people not only be the victims of crime, but be the perpetrators of crime," said Schaaf. 

Other topics at the roundtable discussion included addressing the root causes of violence, increasing educational outreach, and more funding for grassroots programs that help at-risk youth.

The mayor, city councilmembers and community groups discussed strategies for better communication and coordination between local, state, and federal partners. 

"We've got to start showing up, meeting people where they are, delivering the mental health services, delivering jobs, food security, housing, workforce readiness training programs, said Treva Reid, an Oakland city councilmember. 

"We have to lean on other partners, other agencies, like the FBI, ATF, sheriff's department and CHP [California Highway Patrol]," added councilmember Loren Taylor. 

OPD said there were 115 ShotSpotter activations last week, according to their data. A map shows where the shots were detected. Police said Oakland had 5,968 shots through last Friday, which is down 13% compared to the same period last year. 

"We're committed to increased federal investments in counseling services, not just violence prevention, but intervention programs and educational programs," Sen. Padilla said. 

"The idea of declaring a federal health emergency so that MediCal reimbursement can be available for violence prevention work is actually a very creative suggestion," Schaaf acknowledged. 

Congresswoman Lee told KTVU in an on-air interview, following the meeting that gun violence is a public health emergency as designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and that the federal government needs to act accordingly. 

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She talked about violence interrupters. "I'm on the appropriations committee and we funded $250,000 - $500,000 for violence interrupters through Youth ALIVE!"

Lee added that the programs need to be brought to scale in order for them to be effective at disrupting the violence. 

On the topic of gun safety legislation, she noted that the bill is stuck in the Senate. "We passed an assault weapons ban twice." She said the approach needs to be multi pronged. 

"The federal government has a role to support local efforts, especially grassroots efforts that really can be a part of the cease-fire initiative," Lee said. 

Lee explained part of the problem is gun trafficking. She noted police have said this themselves. "What we need to do at the federal level is get the assault weapons passed signed into law. Get all these gun-safety measures passed in the Senate, so the president can sign them. California has some of the strongest and most effective gun laws in the country, but they lose their effectiveness though when people can transport guns from other states." 

She said it's important to have national standards that close a loophole. But in the meantime, the short-term solution is to support the grassroots community efforts are supported and funded. 

"Finally, I'll say it's not just about guns. That's a major piece of it, but it's about the quality of life. It's about an education. It's about mental health services. It's about food. Someone mentioned the fact that people are hungry." 

Lee said the root causes are not being addressed not only in Oakland, but in other cities around the country.

The Alameda County Coroner's Office said they are not releasing the name of the victim of Wednesday morning's homicide until next of kin is notified.