Today, I want to comment on Monday night’s lame “anomaly” of a shooting. (Actually Sunday “night” since it was technically just 1AM Monday.) It may be lame for me to even try to comment on an incident I didn’t witness firsthand. Hopefully it will help OPD find the perps. Oakland needs all the policing assistance it can muster. Above: Photo of car very similar to perps’ getaway car. [Car updated 4/27 5:45PM due to OPD correction. Originally media reports said the getaway veh was a Dodge Avenger. Now police say it was a newer Toy Camry.]
(CBS/AP/KCBS) OAKLAND CITY, Calif. – Oakland City Police are looking for four suspects after a shooter opened fire in a nightspot with an assault rifle, killing two and wounding four. The suspects, believed to be in their late teens or early 20s, were driving a white
Dodge AvengerToyota Camry, authorities say.
The incident occurred around 1 a.m. Monday morning at Sweet Jimmie’s, a lounge near the downtown area by Jack London Square a mere four blocks from the Oakland Police’s downtown headquarters. There were reportedly 10 or 15 people inside the lounge at the time of the shooting.
Although a motive has not been determined, the shootings appear to be “indiscriminate,” says police spokesperson Cynthia Perkins.
Perkins added, “This is an anomaly to happen [near] downtown.”
One of the slain men was an elementary school aide, Adam Williams, 22. The other victim’s name was not released. [Second vic’s name was Billie Jenkins, per Oakland Tribune.]
A yelp search finds two Sweet Jimmie’s listings (closed) and a third which is (still) open.
The news article states club is “a mere four blocks from the Oakland Police’s downtown headquarters.” OPD HQ is at Broadway and 7th Street. On Yelp meanwhile, the listing claims Sweet Jimmie’s is at 18th and San Pablo. That’s 11 blocks distant, not four. I’ll defer to the CBS staff on this one, Yelp must be wrong.
Oakland Tribune lists the second victim’s name and a site to make donations to the first victim who worked at Peralta Elementary School. The second article also lists the club’s address as 311 Broadway. That looks like three blocks on google maps not four but good enough.
The Trib also says,
The gunman escaped in a car with at least three other men before police arrived. They drove south on Broadway in a newer-model white
Dodge AvengerToyota Camry with stock rims.
If I were investigating this case, I would do the following:
- Interview everyone in the vicinity of the club (outside) to put together a composite sketch of Perp #1 and any car occupants;
- Request copies of video surveillance from surrounding businesses on Broadway, and post still frames of the getaway car and (hopefully) occupants on OPD’s website/twitter, TV news broadcasts, in newspapers;
- Check out stolen car reports for the newish Toyota Camry — it still had stock rims. Wikipedia shows this is a 2006-present model car so unfortunately casts a wide net for leads;
- Check records of every new and used car dealer in a 30 mile radius who sold a white Toyota Camry in the past six months — it still had stock rims;
- Check bullet casings for fingerprints;
- Post reward for info — OPD already did, it’s $40Gs.
Am I missing anything? Post up!
Map 1: Directions from Sweet Jimmie’s to East Oakland — if the perps drove “south” on Broadway, I’d ascertain how far they went. I’ve been on on the road here before and seen guys driving by me crazily in their new hot rods. (Competing with each other in displays of bravado. Fun to watch but also dangerous to watch.)
Okay, onto substantive discussions.
 To me, this whole episode means that honest (black and other) people must start carrying and training in the use of guns too, lest they be assaulted by dishonest people carrying guns. I know people of this description and wholeheartedly support them. Force knows no equal besides force. You may say “well that is bad advice” and “escalating the violence” or “increasing casualties” but I’d rather have a fighting chance than lay about as a lamb before lions and vultures. [Added 4/27: At minimum, I recommend always carrying a knife, strong LED flashlight (at night) and pepper spray. This is probably too much for most people. We are not yet in Argentina’s position, but you should read about it anyway.]
 OPD is not strong enough to counter the amount of “knuckleheads” we have in this town, as Phil Tagami refers to our badly behaving folks. Does this mean OPD will eventually need to raise the firepower of its staff to include assault weapons, as the criminals have? That’s how things have developed in Mexico’s “drug war.” Not a happy ending there either. Separately, OPD is STILL horribly understaffed. The crime lab is understaffed – they only work on murders, not burglaries or any lower level crimes. Where is our Mayor, Council and Chief on OPD staffing and other improvements?
 Due to abundant data showing many assaults happening around liquor-providing establishments, should all of these be required to have a minimum level (number, quality) of security cameras? Should these establishments also pay for neighboring businesses within 500 feet to also install street-facing cameras too? Few businesses do this. That’s changed in Chinatown due to last year’s anti-Asian shootings but it needs to happen in Oakland’s other commercial areas too. How else do you catch criminals if not through detection?
Wild-assed guess: many criminals are evading police after “doing dirt” by driving onto freeways and fleeing their crime scenes quickly. Does it make sense to place cameras on every Oakland freeway onramp and offramp? I’d lobby CalTrans to do this. Maybe the value of this is not great, and you can fool the camera by driving around in circular directions or whatnot.This is probably a waste of dough.
 We as the honest citizens of Oakland need to show our support for honest policing and OPD as an organization. We pay them. When they do well we should commend them. You can say what you want about institutional racism (I don’t doubt the results) but you can’t ignore point  above. And if you do, don’t go out at night. You’ve already given up.
It’s getting late so it’s a wrap. Whodunit.