OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A 22-year-old man was killed and five others were wounded in a shooting in Oakland near the city’s Juneteenth celebration, though it wasn’t known whether the violence was connected with the event, police said.
The unidentified man was pronounced dead at a hospital after gunfire erupted Saturday evening near Lake Merritt, said Oakland Police Department Officer Johnna Watson.
The other five victims, males ages 16 to 27, and a woman in her 20s, were hospitalized in stable condition, she said Saturday night.
Investigators said they were trying to determine a motive for the shooting and identify suspects. Police said two men running from the scene with guns were arrested, but it was unclear if they were responsible for the shooting, the Bay Area News Group reported.
The shooting occurred shortly before 6:30 p.m. about a mile (1.6 kilometers) north of the Lake Merritt Amphitheater, where hundreds of people had gathered throughout the day to commemorate June 19, 1865.
That’s when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, two months after the Confederacy had surrendered.
Andrew Simpson was jogging near the lake when he heard gunshots.
“Out of the corner of my eye I saw a guy with a gun pointing at a car. Everyone started sprinting and screaming,” Simpson told the Bay Area News Group.
Witnesses said some people ran into the water when shots rang out.
“Tonight a joyous occasion at our Lake Merritt was marred by a senseless act of gun violence,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf in a statement.
It wasn’t immediately known whether there was any connection between the shooting and the Juneteenth events.