Oakland shooting kills man; police staffing shortage issues surface

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A shooting near Lake Merritt on Sunday afternoon killed a man who was confronting a car burglar, as reported by The Chronicle, citing an Oakland police official.

The anonymous police source said the homicide transpired near El Embarcadero and Lakeshore Avenue around 3:30 in the afternoon.

The suspect – which is yet to be clarified if was taken into custody — sustained a gunshot in the chest.

About an hour before the shooting, the Oakland police said about the boost in staffing through a Twitter post. It announced highly capable “tactical teams” to be assigned to “support the patrol officers who are responding to armed caravans, illegal sideshows and other violent crimes.”

The City Council is set to have a special meeting on safety on Dec. 7, Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan told The Chronicle. The meeting “will include addressing the staffing shortage — including asking why the department has hired fewer people than the council approved and budgeted, and also will include (the) issue of gun violence.”

“Gun violence is devastating our communities, and requires a comprehensive response,” the Vice Mayor said following the shooting. “Including prevention, community resources, programs like Ceasefire, and tracing and stopping sources of illegal guns and gun crimes.”

According to Oakland police union president Barry Donelan, the department started with the boost on staffing Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 “They’re just trying to respond to the violence we’re seeing,” Donelan said. “We’re seeing a staggering number of calls for service.”

This weekend, police staffing reached its low since 2014 with 677, Donelan said.

A resolution was passed a year ago for the police to prioritize gun violence prevention, Kaplan said, noting that it has not been implemented.

“We added funding for programs to target gun violence and stop gun crimes and illegal gun dealing,” she said, expressing her hope to hear the program details on the scheduled meeting.

“I know there wouldn’t have been a shooting if there wasn’t a gun,” Kaplan said after the recent homicide case.

“It is horrific,” she also tweeted. “America has a rising gun violence crisis, and those who commit it are doing awful things and devastating families and communities. And — my goal bigger than that shooters should be denounced … (is) to stop them from having the guns to commit shootings with.”