Comments on Monday night shooting

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 Avenger Toyota Camry with stock rims.

If I were investigating this case, I would do the following:

  1. Interview everyone in the vicinity of the club (outside) to put together a composite sketch of Perp #1 and any car occupants;
  2. 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;
  3. 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;
  4. 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;
  5. Check bullet casings for fingerprints;
  6. 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.

[1] 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.]

[2] 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?

[3] 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.

[4] 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 [2] 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.


6 responses to “Comments on Monday night shooting

  1. Yelp does not delist quickly. 18th and San Pablo is the old location of SJ and the current location of New Parish.
    I know some people don’t like cameras, but I agree that cameras at bars/liquor stores and other business with late hours is a good idea.

  2. Whenever I hear about random violence that happens here in Oakland, I feel really sad, scared, and angry that this city has been allowed to get like this. We need more cops, as well as more employment opportunities to keep people occupied so they don’t lose hope and just snap like this. With every story like this I read about Oakland, the more I start to think that maybe personal firearms for law abiding, non-violent people aren’t such a bad idea. I’m a liberal in every other area, so thinking about getting a gun kind of scares me, but as a 5’1, 100 pound woman in only moderately good shape, I’m starting to feel like a target. I don’t want to have to start clutching my purse on the street like a little old lady or restricting my movements around the city because of these random psychopaths. Do you know of any firearms training/licensing agencies, or of any self defense classes in Oakland, preferably in relatively safe neighborhoods? If you do, your help would be much appreciated!

    Also, you’re the first person I’ve encountered to actually call last year’s killings “anti-Asian,” but I don’t doubt that that’s what they were. The killers didn’t have any other motivation, and in at least one case, it wasn’t even remotely robbery-related. Good for you for telling the truth! Those killers should have some years tacked onto their sentences, acknowledging that they committed HATE CRIMES.

  3. there are self defense classes at SOJA in Uptown but i doubt that will do anything to protect you from an assault rifle coming from a moving vehicle as you leave the club.

    let’s get the guns off the streets and increase security outside of clubs.

  4. Agree with SC that self defense classes won’t protect you from an assault rifle already in motion.

    However, they will protect you from garden variety rapists, muggers, pickpockets on MUNI and bored miscreants generally. Very worthwhile in my opinion. AKs are not your everyday urban crime.

    CJ500 I strongly recommend that you explore self defense classes. SOJA has some but there are others… prices vary and you generally get what you pay for. Personally I am a judo fan.
    As for range training I recommend:
    There is a hardcore place for training south of SF but I need to look it up later. (Cost: a couple K)
    Lastly, you can take knife fighting classes.
    Awareness and preparation (of the muscle memory type) are what you need.

    HomeGirl, other good spots for cams might be check cashing places, gas stations and cheapo motels.

    SC2: Disagree that the AR was necessarily shooting from moving car into club, I believe the gunman shot his way in or into the club very near the entrance while still on foot. Wb hard to accurately shoot that many people in a moving vehicle and he would have hit folks outside too. (But I could be wrong.) Which security company was doing front door detail at Sweet Jimmie’s that night? I wonder what became of the Sweets Ballroom security team also, from that 9-peeps-got-shot incident on Halloween weekend last year.

  5. newoakland, adding more guns to the mix is a very bad idea. assuming you are talking about licensed, registered handguns, then a concealed weapons permit is necessary to carry, loaded, in public. and by doing so, you would be increasing the chance of innocent bystanders getting seriously hurt. also, there’s no guarantee a holstered handgun would be an effective deterrent against someone with a drawn assault weapon firing indiscriminately into a crowd. lastly, if you bring a gun into a house where there are children, you run the risk of a tragic consequence as a result.

    best-case scenario is to let yourself be robbed.

    did you even think this through before posting?

  6. I’m tired of the “best case scenario.” At least with a “holstered handgun” you have an effective response to someone with an assault weapon firing toward you… you can fight back. Would you suggest to US troops that they go into battle with no weapons? Do you want police with no guns?

    Sure it’s ideal to have CCW. But there is no need to get a CCW — if you are more worried about being shot by criminals than being worried about the police.

    No deterrent is not a deterrent is not acceptable.

    I grew up in a house with guns and there were no tragic consequences.

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