Gunfire wounded a 6-year-old girl and two others 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, police said.
A dispute in the stands of the school’s football stadium around 1:15 p.m. Sunday erupted into violence, and a man and woman also were struck by gunfire. The three victims were in stable condition at hospitals, according to police.
Police and Crime Stoppers are offering $15,000 for information leading to an arrest in the shooting. Police have some video of the event, but they are not releasing it until they are 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 security at their youth football games.
It’s the second time in about 18 months that a shooting broke out at an Oakland Dynamites game. Last year, one person died in a shooting at a game at Concordia Park at 2901 64th Ave. in Oakland.
“This could have been a horrible tragedy,” Oakland police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said at a news conference Monday afternoon.
Armstrong said that several people in the stands had guns and that they knew one another. Armstrong said he hopes police and the community can come together and say this is unacceptable. He said the people responsible need to be held accountable.
The chief said that police officers will be covering the games.
“This is a tragedy,” said City Councilmember Dan Kalb, whose district includes the high school. He said it’s fortunate no one was killed Sunday, but nonetheless it is a tragedy.
Kalb thinks no weapons should be allowed inside sporting events. At the Oakland Coliseum, visitors go through metal detectors. At the game Sunday, visitors were scanned with wands to detect weapons.
Kalb said some oversight is needed regarding the use of the wands.
None of the 9 and 10-year-old players on the field was hurt by gunfire, Armstrong said. The guns used were handguns, police believe.
Armstrong called for members of the community to stand up and make children feel safe. He will be visiting the family of the girl who was shot, he said. Armstrong didn’t know whether the girl and the two other victims are related.
Kalb offered three suggestions for quelling the violence in Oakland, including increasing resources for the Oakland Department of Violence Prevention, getting guns off the streets and staffing up the Police Department.
Source: NBC Bay Area