Slain teen's uncle speaks out as Oakland road rage shooting remains unsolved
OAKLAND, Calif. - The uncle of a 15-year-old Oakland girl who was shot and killed during a road rage incident is beside himself with grief, as he was driving when shots rang out.
"I just wish I would have been the bigger person and just pulled over and let them go or have gone a different route," said Joshua Hatcher, whose niece Shamara Young was killed.
Young's mother, Chalinda Hatcher, is also heartbroken but holding strong.
"My daughter would want me to. She was a crime person. She loved crime shows and all that. Her thing was always get the news out there," she said.
Young had just gotten her hair done and was riding home with her uncle on Wednesday night when they came across another car being driven recklessly in East Oakland. Joshua Hatcher said the other driver was speeding up, slowing down, and cutting them off.
He said he tried to go around them but without warning, someone from the car opened fire at them near 51st and Bancroft.
"There was no dialogue," he said. "There was no verbal dialogue, there was no finger-flipping dialogue."
At first, he thought it was just his window that was shot out. And when Young didn't react to the gunfire, he thought she was wearing earphones.
"I see my niece, you know ,unconscious, not really reacting — that's what got me," he said.
Young was a junior at Fremont High School in Oakland. She was trying out to be on the junior varsity girls basketball team.
The morning after she was killed, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong, the father of two daughters, spoke emotionally about the tragedy.
"When your kids leave home, you expect them to return home safe," the chief said.
The teen's mother said, "I'm just angry. I'm more angry than anything, and I'm determined to get these people caught.
She said she won't stop until she gets justice for her daughter.
"We don't need those people on the streets. If you're gonna shoot at random cars, you need to be off the streets, "because you're a very dangerous person," she said. "All I can say is turn yourself in. You took an innocent life. Hold yourself accountable for it."