At Least 15 Shot at Oakland Juneteenth Celebration in California

A Juneteenth celebration in Oakland, California, was disrupted by a mass shooting leaving 15 people injured including one in critical condition. The celebration was meant to honor the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It was attended by about 5,000 people when it was disrupted by an illegal vehicle sideshow.

At Least 15 Shot at Oakland Juneteenth Celebration in California

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Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, were informed of their freedom, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

In 2021, it became a federal holiday widely celebrated with street festivals, concerts and family gatherings across the United States.

The event took place at Lake Merritt, a popular recreational area in Oakland, attracting approximately 5,000 people who were enjoying the festivities peacefully until the shooting erupted.

Up until about 8:15 p.m., the atmosphere was festive and orderly. Families were gathered, enjoying the cultural and historical day.

Around 8:15 p.m., about 20 vehicles including all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes, initiated a sideshow on the north side of Lake Merritt.

Sideshows typically involve stunts such as doughnuts and drifting and have become increasingly common in various cities including Oakland.

A confrontation started when someone walked across the hood of a vehicle involved in the sideshow. Multiple people exited the vehicle and began attacking the individual, who sustained injuries severe enough to require hospitalization.

As fights broke out, gunfire erupted with multiple shooters firing into the crowd. Over 50 shell casings were recovered from the scene.

Fifteen individuals, aged between 20 and 30, were shot. Injuries ranged from minor gunshot wounds to the loss of fingers.

One person remains in critical condition. Police officers at the scene faced hostility from some members of the crowd.

A woman was arrested for assaulting an officer who was administering first aid to a gunshot victim.

Several officers sustained minor injuries from being punched and pushed while attempting to control the situation and provide assistance.

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Oakland Police Chief Floyd Mitchell addressed that the event was not authorized and described the violence as unacceptable. He highlighted that the police had to issue an emergency call for backup to manage the situation.

No arrests have been made yet, but detectives are actively combing through social media for leads. The investigation is ongoing with police working to identify the perpetrators.

Approximately 5,000 attendees were present at the celebration. The event turned chaotic around 8:15 PM due to an illegal sideshow involving vehicles and motorbikes.

Oakland Police and Fire Departments responded to the incident. Four victims were transported by the Oakland Fire Department to local hospitals. Some victims self-transported to medical facilities.

Sideshows are unsanctioned gatherings where vehicles perform dangerous stunts. A fight broke out leading to the shooting and the police were attacked while attempting to manage the crowd.

No arrests had been made by the afternoon of June 20. The police are investigating the incident focusing on identifying multiple shooters. Citizens are encouraged to provide photos or videos to assist in the investigation.

The injured ranged in age from 20 to 30 years old. Injuries included severe gunshot wounds and loss of fingers. One victim remains in critical condition.

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The holiday was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021 and is celebrated with public festivities.

Other violent incidents occurred during Juneteenth celebrations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Round Rock, Texas.

In 2021, another shooting at a Juneteenth event at Lake Merritt resulted in several injuries and the death of a 22-year-old man.

Mayor Sheng Thao and Chief Mitchell both condemned the violence and addressed the importance of celebrating Juneteenth in peace.

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