1 arrested in Oakland Skyline High graduation shooting after fight

Oakland police on Friday arrested one person following a fight and a shooting after Skyline High School's graduation, where three people were injured.

In a statement, police said that there were two groups of people leaving the Thursday evening ceremony about 7:45 p.m. when they got into a fight in the school's parking lot in the 12200 block of Skyline Boulevard.

The fight escalated, police said, and "multiple" people were shot. 

Two people at the scene, an adult man and woman, were injured by bullets and then taken to a hospital. A third person was shot and took themselves to the hospital, police said.

Police said they detained several people, but only arrested one adult, whom they did not identify.

Officers are looking for more shooters and witnesses. Anyone who has information is asked to email cidvideos@oaklandca.gov. There is a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to an arrest.

What the groups were fighting about is unclear.  

Video on social media showed several young people, boys and girls, walking down a sidewalk pushing and shoving each other, while the apparent videographer shouts out "Oakland, California!" 

Lt. Robert Trevino added that the shooting was an "isolated incident," but he did not elaborate. 

"What happened after Skyline High School’s graduation on Thursday evening was heartbreaking and absolutely unacceptable," Supt. Kyla Johnson-Trammell said in a statement on Friday. "We don’t know what prompted this violent incident, but we know this: Our schools are among the safest places to be in the City, and there is never any place for violence within, or around them."

She added that the shooting occurred after the graduation ceremony while staff were cleaning up.

The shooting also came on a night when the newly hired Oakland police chief, Floyd Mitchell, attended his first Oakland Police Commission meeting. 

Mitchell left the meeting to go to the school. He didn't speak publicly, but he was spotted walking to the scene and speaking with other officers. His first day on the job was May 11. 

Several witnesses described to KTVU hearing and seeing the shooting unfold towards the end of the ceremony.

One woman, with tears in her eyes, said she and her husband were parked in the school's parking lot waiting for their daughter, who had attended the graduation for a friend. The woman said she heard two bangs and saw people running.

Shooting reported near Oakland's Skyline High School graduation.

"I told my husband, 'I don't think those were fireworks,'" the woman said, adding that she saw a group of guys shooting.

"For a high school graduation to end like this is horrible," she said.

Kyle Jackson was among the crowd and was recording a video when "next thing I know, I hear gunshots out of the crowd. I don't know what happened after that; I just saw everyone running for safety."

Jackson said he hoped everyone was safe.

"It's clearly unfortunate, definitely on a day like this. For some of these students that graduated, this is supposed to be the happiest day of their lives. It's crazy. I just hope they can put it in the past and move past it," he said.

A student named Mohamed Sulaiman, who was wearing a red cap and gown, said the school did a very good job of escorting the students and their families out through the school and to safety.

Mohamed said despite what transpired, he still had a happy day because he graduated. On the other hand, he said he was sad because he heard a woman had been shot and injured.

Martin Rodriguez agreed that the shooting marred the graduation. He described seeing people running and crying.

"It was just a scary experience to witness," he said. "It was supposed to be a happy day, a day where you would celebrate your fresh graduates. And it ended up going completely south." 

The scene seemed surreal with dozens of police cars, including the California Highway Patrol, parked nearby a white tent and empty white chairs where high school graduates had just celebrated a teenage rite of passage before setting off into adulthood.

A sign that read "we have amazing educators" hung on a fence outside the entrance to the school where actor Tom Hanks once attended.

Mayor Sheng Thao broke her silence after the shooting, saying in a statement to KTVU on Friday that she was deeply troubled over the incident.

"Our entire city’s hearts go out to the students, families, friends, and school staff who should have been able to enjoy and celebrate in peace," Thao wrote. 

Assembly woman Mia Bonta tweeted: "My heart is with the students, families, and Skyline High School staff & educators this evening; I hope all are safe, and I appreciate the swift response to ensure everyone’s safety."

Skyline High was the site of another shooting in September 2023 – the beginning of this school year – where students hid in closets and classrooms when shots rang out during the middle of the school day. 

Three minors were arrested and charged in that case. 

Meanwhile, Johnson-Trammell said that the Oakland community should not tolerate violence and work to eliminate it. 

"I know that many of us share this collective frustration and devastation," she wrote, "and that our hearts are with the victims of this incident, their loved ones, and every graduate and their extended community who attended the ceremony to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime achievement."

Police will be at the remaining high school and college graduation ceremonies in Oakland.

KTVU's Joey Horta contributed to this report. 

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - MAY 24: Oakland police investigate a multiple shooting at Skyline High School in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, May 24, 2024. Three victims were shot after Skylines graduation ceremony. (Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Ti

Administrators huddle after a shooting at Skyline High School during graduation. May 23, 2024 

Oakland's new police chief, Floyd Mitchell, arrives at Skyline High School. May 23, 2024 

Shooting reported near Oakland's Skyline High School graduation.

A white tent is seen after a shooting at Skyline High's graduation. May 23, 2023

A woman is loaded into an ambulance after a shooting at Skyline High. May 23, 2023

Mohamed Sulaiman said the school did a good job escorting families to safety at Skyline High. May 23, 2023

Skyline High School in Oakland. 

Shooting reported near Oakland's Skyline High School graduation.

Shooting reported near Oakland's Skyline High School graduation.

Shooting reported near Oakland's Skyline High School graduation.