Oakland police take days to respond after apartment complex shot up

Residents in one Oakland apartment building said they are living in fear after gunfire erupted on their street the night of July 4.

Tenants huddled and hid in their backyard, not far from downtown Oakland, as bullets tore through their windows and walls.

Oakland police showed up 48 hours after the first call came in, telling KTVU an officer was on his way to respond to the incident the next day but was rerouted to a higher priority call.

There are still several bullet holes in the front window of one apartment unit. Another bullet tore through the metal security door to an apartment downstairs.

"It went right through the window, right through the curtain and went directly across the room into the wall," said one resident, who prefers to go by "John," and wants to stay anonymous for safety reasons.


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"I've never felt so unsafe in this house. I've been here for 12 years or so. The neighborhood is what it is; it's what I can afford," he said. "It was scary."

John shared surveillance video that captured some of the gunshots going off just before midnight. He believes this could have been reckless and celebratory holiday gunfire.

He said he spotted a group of young people gathered across the street moments before shots rang out.

John collected a bag of shell casings scattered around his home.

"There were probably 100 shots or more, over the course of 9 p.m. to midnight in the same general area," he said. "I didn't make a 911 call on the 4th because I thought it was pointless… They're probably busy doing higher priority calls."

Oakland police told KTVU the department has 35 officers on patrol per shift across the entire city, which is home to about 435,000 residents. That equates to one officer per beat.

"It would be nice if there was more of a police presence for sure," said John. "I've lived in Oakland for 18 years and it just seems to be getting wilder and scarier."

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Last year, its dispatch center received 1.2 million emergency and non-emergency calls. That's about 3,300 calls for service a day.

"I'm terrified for my tenants, I really worry about their safety," said the building's landlord, who wants to go by "Charlie."

"Fortunately, nobody was hurt in this, but they could easily get hurt," Charlie said.

Charlie said his other tenants were told to file the report online.

Oakland police detectives are looking for suspects and asking for the public to come forward with videos or photos that may assist in the investigation. That material can be sent to cidvideos@oaklandca.gov.

"I'm ready to get out, this is it. I've had enough of this," said Charlie.

He said he's lived in Oakland for 40 years and owns several buildings that provide low- to moderate-income housing.

The police department said it has 705 officers and is authorized by the city to have 678.

The city is expecting a staffing study to be completed by the end of the year, which will give a recommendation for the number of officers Oakland should have.