Oakland police reorganizing to stem rising gun violence after 96th homicide

The 96th slaying this year in Oakland on Tuesday is prompting police to reorganize and deploy additional officers in East Oakland and parts of West Oakland, Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said.

Police received calls at 10 a.m. Tuesday of shots fired in the 9600 block of Edes Avenue.

The first officer to get to the victim was an off-duty officer who provided medical aid. Then the victim was taken to a hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. Doctors could not save his life, Armstrong said.

Last year at this time, Oakland suffered 102 killings. Since 2020, gun violence has been on the rise.

"We are going all-hands-on-deck to address gun violence in the city of Oakland," Armstrong said.

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He aims to have officers arrest the people who are driving the violence.

"This is not an effort to arrest everybody," he said. "This is an effort to arrest those that are driving the gun violence in our city."

Armstrong thinks only a small group of people are responsible for the gun violence. The people are mainly parts of groups and gangs, he said.

Of the 450 shootings this year, police attribute about 30 percent to group and gang violence, the chief said.

Armstrong wants police to increase their visibility to deter crime. The redeployment of officers to West Oakland will be in areas where groups and gangs congregate.   Armstrong added that Oakland police will continue to work with San Francisco police to thwart violence caused by groups and gangs from San Francisco.

"This is a difficult time in the city of Oakland," he said.

He said it's important that his department respond.

"We will increase enforcement on our streets to remove these guns from our community," the chief said.

Police have not determined a motive for Tuesday's killing. The name of the victim was not immediately available.

Armstrong also added eight officers to the criminal investigations division to identify the people responsible for crime and bring them to justice, he said.

Police are also redeploying officers for traffic enforcement since the number of fatal traffic collisions is up.