Gunfire injured a 6-year-old girl and two others on Sunday at a youth football game attended by about 500 people at Oakland Tech High School, and a reward is being offered in the search for the suspects, a announced the police.
An argument in the stands of the school’s football stadium around 1.15pm on Sunday escalated into violence, and a man and woman were also hit by gunfire. All three victims were in stable condition in hospitals, police said.
Police and Crime Stoppers are offering $15,000 for information leading to an arrest in the shooting. Police have video of the event, but they won’t release it until they’re sure who opened fire.
The Oakland Dynamites, the nonprofit youth group behind Sunday’s football game, will hold a prayer circle Tuesday night, meet with parents to discuss what happened and talk about what can be done. to improve safety at their youth football matches.
This is the second time in about 18 months that a shooting has broken out at an Oakland Dynamites game. Last year, one person died in a shooting during a game at Concordia Park at 2901 64th Ave. in Oakland.
“It could have been a horrible tragedy,” Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said at a press conference Monday afternoon.
Armstrong said several people in the stands had guns and knew each other. Armstrong said he hopes the police and the community can come together and say this is unacceptable. He said those responsible should be held accountable.
The chief said police would cover the games.
“It’s a tragedy,” said City Council member Dan Kalb, whose district includes the high school. He said it was lucky no one was killed on Sunday, but it was a tragedy nonetheless.
Kalb believes no weapons should be allowed inside sporting events. At the Oakland Coliseum, visitors pass through metal detectors. During Sunday’s game, visitors were scanned with wands to detect weapons.
Kalb said some supervision was needed regarding the use of chopsticks.
None of the 9- and 10-year-olds on the court suffered gunshot wounds, Armstrong said. The weapons used were handguns, according to police.
Armstrong called on community members to stand up and make children feel safe. He will visit the family of the girl who was shot, he said. Armstrong did not know if the girl and the other two victims were related.
Kalb offered three suggestions to quell the violence in Oakland, including increasing resources for the Oakland Violence Prevention Department, getting guns off the streets, and staffing the police department.