Mother of 15-year-old killed in Oakland speaks out in video

The mother of a 15-year-old girl who was killed in a shooting late Wednesday night in East Oakland said in a video shared by the Oakland Police Department the act of violence against her daughter Shamara Young was “senseless.”

“We need to get together and find out who did this and put them where they belong,” said Young, who made a plea to the community to find her daughter’s killer. “We don’t need people out on the street who are just killing for no reason. “We’ve got to get them off the street so we can make our community better.”

The mother added: “The only way we’re going to do it is if we stay together. It’s not called snitching, it’s called protecting your city. You got someone killing a 15-year-old, they’ll kill anybody.”

The shooting occurred just before 11:30 p.m. on the 5000 block of Bancroft Avenue, police said. There’s a fire station in this block within Oakland’s Bancroft-Fairfax district.

Young was riding in a vehicle when someone opened fire at the vehicle, the Oakland Police Officers’ Association said in a news release.

Officers responded to the scene and found evidence of the shooting, police said. Police learned later that the victim was taken to a hospital.

The mother, who the police department didn’t identify by name, described her daughter as a “real loving girl” who enjoyed having fun with her friends and was protective of her friends. 

“She was also about making herself better,” she said. “She was always pushing to strive for the best.”

Oakland, like many U.S. cities, has seen a recent surge in gun violence since the start of the pandemic. The homicide Wednesday night marked the 109th of the year, which equals last year’s total. The Oakland Police Department said there were 77 in 2019.

September marked what Oakland police Chief LeRonne L. Armstrong called the city’s “most violent month” to date this year with 17 homicides recorded. 

The Oakland City Council voted recently in favor of conducting additional police academies in hopes of getting more police in Oakland. Oakland police have been losing about 10 police officers a month recently, the police department said.

“The tragedy of a 15-year-old’s life being extinguished on an Oakland street, epitomizes the violence our city’s residents and police officers are seeing daily,” Oakland Police Officers’ Association President Barry Donelan said. “Oakland’s hardworking but dwindling ranks of police officers are striving to bring justice to the families of those impacted by homicide, have responded to over 575 shootings so far this year, and recovered almost 1,000 firearms.”

Bay City News contributed to this story.

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