Seven Gunned Down In Oakland As Leaders Mourn Slain Journalist

As community leaders gathered to mourn the brazen slaying of an Oakland journalist and to denounce the city's chronic violence, gunfire claimed seven more lives in separate incidents over a two-day span.

Kevin F. Sharp Jr., 20, was watching television at his East Oakland home early Sunday morning when he answered a knock at his door and was fatally shot, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The shooter fled, and police have no information on the suspect or a motive, Sgt. James Morris said.

Late Saturday, 25-year-old Khatari Gant died after gunman with an assault rifle sprayed his van with bullets, police said.

Gant's brother and a friend were wounded in the shooting.

All three were taken to a nearby hospital, where Gant was pronounced dead, Sgt. George Phillips said.

Police arrived at a hotel near Oakland International Airport early Saturday to find Byron Mitchell, 29, of Chicago dying from a gunshot wound they believe he received while struggling with a robber.

Mitchell had come to Oakland to work as a replacement driver during a recent contract dispute between the city's garbage hauler and its drivers, Phillips said.

Jacqueline Venable, 40, was fatally shot Friday around 11 p.m. as she ate cake with friends in West Oakland, police said.

The group heard gunshots nearby before Venable fell to the ground.

The deaths brought the number of killings reported in Oakland since Friday morning to seven and the homicide count for the year to 79.

The city had recorded 84 murders by this time last year, when homicides surged by about 60 percent.

Clergy members, politicians and colleagues who gathered Saturday hear the spot where Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey, 57, was gunned down two days earlier said they were tired of bloodshed in the city.

They encouraged witnesses to come forward and tell police what they knew to help stem the tide of crime.

"There's this whole notion of not wanting to be labeled a snitch and fear of retribution," Oakland city councilwoman Desley Brooks.

"We need to turn this on its head."

A 19-year-old handyman for an Oakland Black Muslim splinter group that Bailey's colleagues said he was investigating was booked Saturday on suspicion of his murder.


KOLO-TV 4850 Ampere Drive Reno, NV 89502
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 8923962