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Several people shot at Oakland Juneteenth celebration, police say

By Associated Press
Published: June 20, 2024, 8:18am

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A Juneteenth celebration in Oakland, California, turned violent when several people were shot, police said.

The Lake Merritt event on Wednesday night was largely peaceful, with as many as 5,000 in attendance, until a sideshow involving “motorbikes and vehicles” took place around 8:15 p.m. on the north side of the lake, police said in a news release Thursday.

A fight broke out down the street from the sideshow and a crowd gathered in the area of the fight, police said.

“During that fight multiple shots rang out,” said Paul Chambers, OPD’s strategic communications manager. The shooting happened at 8:45 p.m. While it was not immediately clear how many people were injured, police said several were struck by gunfire and were taken to a hospital. There were no reports of deaths.

As officers tried to get the crowd to safety several people struck OPD officers, Chambers said. At least one person was taken into custody for assaulting an officer, he said. Police did not say how many officers were attacked.

A large police presence included as many as two dozen police vehicles and multiple ambulances at the scene, KTVU-TV reported. Police said 28 officers and four sergeants were at the scene to monitor the event.

Participants in the celebration were seen getting verbal with police with some people criticizing police response, saying they didn’t respond quickly enough when people were injured, KTVU reported.

In 2021, a shooting during a Juneteenth celebration at Lake Merritt left several people injured and a 22-year-old San Francisco man dead.

Police said the investigation of Wednesday night’s shooting was ongoing.

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