Police are hunting a gunman on the loose after six adults were wounded in a shooting yesterday near a California school that serves recent immigrants who have fled violence in their homelands.
The incident happened around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday at Rudsdale Newcomer High School in East Oakland, authorities said, with at least some of the victims found inside the school.
Three victims were taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland. Two were in critical but stable condition after suffering gunshot wounds. The other was stable.
The three victims are aged 18, 19 and 58. Three more people were rushed to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where one was treated and released, one is awaiting release and another is in stable condition.
“The victims were affiliated with the school and we are determining the affiliation at this time,” Oakland Assistant Police Chief Darren Allison said, though he declined to say whether any students or teachers were involved.
Allison said police were looking for at least one suspect but did not have anyone in custody.
The school serves recent immigrants ages 16-21 who have fled violence and instability in their home countries, according to its website. It is one of four neighborhood schools located on one block in East Oakland.
At least six people have been injured after a shooting at Rudsdale Newcomer High School in East Oakland, California, where law enforcement cordoned off the scene.
The shooting took place at a building on Fontaine Street — a location home to several schools — including Bay Area Technology School, Rudsdale Newcomer High School and Sojourner Truth Independent Study
Tonyia Carter (right), a senior violence interrupter, comforts a city assistant in St. Cuthbert’s Episcopal Church, where the staff are gathered
Victim Jason Arbuckle was reportedly grazed by a bullet as he hung a trophy case
The shooting happened at a building on Fontaine Street — a location that is home to a number of other schools, including Bay Area Technology School and Sojourner Truth Independent Study.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf confirmed that all the victims were adults.
Police are looking for one suspect, but others may be involved. A parent told KTVU she witnessed five potential gunmen. Police said they do not have anyone in custody at this time.
According to cell phone video from inside the school, when officers arrived on the scene, a student can be heard telling them there were seven shots.
The Bay Area Technology School issued an Instagram post that their campus security guard was injured in the shooting but was not seriously injured.
Jason Arbuckle, a carpenter with Oakland Unified, said ABC7 that a bullet grazed his head and left some fragments. He and a crew were hanging up a trophy case when the shooting broke out, they report.
Other parents described another victim rushing to help after shots were fired.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of the six people who were injured in a shooting that occurred near our campus this afternoon,” they wrote.
They added that they praised their staff for “jumping into action” and putting their lockdown protocols into effect when they realized an active shooter was on campus.
‘We would also like to thank each of our students for the fantastic way they handled the safety protocols. They are superstars! Please give them a big hug for us.’
Rudsdale Newcomer High School says its students, all recently arrived immigrants fleeing violence and instability, are working to support themselves and their families while also pursuing a high school diploma.
“Due to their migration experiences, our students have faced many traumas,” the school says on its website.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that deputies were called to assist Oakland Police at the complex yesterday afternoon.
Children and parents are seen being taken out of the school after the shooting
Parents rush to park and collect their children after the shocking shooting
A woman told local news CBS Bay Area that she heard the gunshots ringing from the buildings just after noon
But the children – believed to be as young as kindergarten age and as old as 18 – were then evacuated from their buildings.
Treva Reid, a council member and candidate for Oakland mayor, said investigators told her the shooting may be connected to increasing “gang and gang violence.”
Reid went on to say the shooting is evidence that the city has not invested enough in programs and initiatives to help children succeed.
“We’ve disinvested in them so kids are taking matters into their own hands,” she said.
‘They are doing things in ways that are not healthy to resolve conflicts and that is what we are seeing today.’
Community activist Nina Carter says that despite all the rhetoric surrounding school funding, the situation won’t change if Oakland students can’t relate to those in charge.
‘You have to have in these schools and on these campuses that these kids (can relate to). You can’t just have someone deal with the kind of trauma that these kids face. You have to come from that,’ explains Carter.
Carter is part of a Violence Interrupters team, which mediates conflicts between groups and gangs.
The shooting comes a day after Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong announced new measures to tackle gun violence.
A woman told local news CBS Bay Area that she heard the gunshots ringing from the buildings just after noon.
Other horrified parents described their panic after learning their children’s schools had been closed. A mother said after hearing the shots: ‘I thought the worst.’
The school staff gathers in St. Cuthbert’s Episcopal Church as police and investigators work the scene of the shooting. No one has yet been arrested
The Oakland Unified School District said in a statement: ‘There was an incident today at the King Estate campus on Fontaine Street, which houses the co-located Rudsdale Continuation and Newcomer high schools, BayTech Charter School and the headquarters for Sojourner Truth Independent Study, which has no students On-site.
‘The campus is close to the Oakland Academy of Knowledge (OAK), but it is important to note that the incident was NOT at OAK, nor did it have anything to do with that elementary school.
“We currently have no information beyond what the Oakland Police are reporting.”
John Sasaki, a spokesman for the Oakland Unified School District, said in a statement that counselors were made available to the students.
Television footage showed dozens of police cars and yellow tape on the street outside the school and students leaving nearby campuses.
James Jackson, CEO of Alameda Health System, also noted an increase in violence.
‘We’ve seen almost a doubling of victims of violent crime that we see here at our facility (Highland Hospital). So something has changed,” Jackson said.
City Councilman Loren Taylor, who was outside the school, declined to confirm any details of the incident, telling KTVU-TV, ‘Guns were on our school campuses where our babies are supposed to be protected.’