Witnesses: Innocent woman at Lake Merritt injured by stray bullet in crossfire

A woman who was walking along Lake Merritt in Oakland was shot and seriously injured on Monday afternoon; witnesses said she was struck by a stray bullet during a gun battle between people in two vehicles.

Neighbors said they are shocked that this took place at 12:30 p.m. in such a busy area.

Everett Alex Alexander said the woman was shot by a lamp light and a bush, on a path along the lake.

He said he looked out his balcony after he heard dozens of shots fired.

"It was scary because you don't know what's going on  and you don't know where the bullets are flying," Alexander said.   

Police confirmed that the victim is an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire.

A bicyclist who did not want to give his identity said multiple witnesses saw a gun battle between two groups on Lakeside Drive near the intersection of Madison Street. The drivers were both driving white Lexuses.

"The guys were hanging out the window shooting at each other at point-blank range," said the bicyclist. "It went on and on. Whatever, 10 or 15 seconds."  

The shooting happened on the Labor Day holiday with lots of people out enjoying the day.

"I ride my bike here all the time. It pisses me off, and it scares me," said the bicyclist.  

Mary Lins said she's probably going to walk elsewhere from now on.

"Which is too bad because Lake Merritt is part of what's great about living here right, about living in this neighborhood," she said. 

Neighbors described Lake Merritt as the heart and soul of Oakland and to have a shooting like this happen is disturbing. 

One neighbor said many people in the area rushed to help the woman and said that speaks to what's good about this city.  

"These people didn't know the danger was passed, but were willing to put themselves at risk to help this innocent woman," said Alexander.  

Neighbors said first responders arrived quickly. Police said the victim is in critical condition. They did not release descriptions of the suspects or the vehicles involved. 

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU.  Email Amber at Amber.Lee@Fox.com or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU.