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2 Arrested For Slaying On Crime-Ridden Oakland Cul-De-Sac Next To Lake Merritt

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- Two out-of-town suspects have been arrested and charged in the November slaying of an Oakland woman on a Lakeshore Ave. cul-de-sac next to Lake Merritt -- the scene of two homicides and the wounding of seven others in shootings since May.

Oakland police said Lashawn Price, 33, resident of Stockton and Torrin Dupclay, 32, resident of Crockett, were in custody for their roles in the November 11th homicide of 22-year-old Devani AlemanSanchez.

According to court documents, prosecutors have also charged the pair with attempting to murder two other people during the same incident, as well as robberies at gunpoint on Dec. 5 and Dec. 6.

Earlier this week, Oakland police chief Chief LeRonne L. Armstrong held on news conference to address violence in the city, particularly on the 1400 block of Lakeshore Ave.

It came in the wake of the weekend shooting death of a man on the same cul-de-sac.

"We been working with community for over the past month or so related to the violence that we've seen happen in the 1400 block of the Lakeshore," Armstrong said. "We don't believe that this most recent homicide is related to past crime incidents, but we do know this is an area where people like to come and congregate. It is a scenic area. It is a place where many people choose to come when they want to see the lake or visit the lake."

Oakland has bolstered police presence in the area to stem the rise of violence on Lakeshore.

"I will say without going into specific cases, we have seen whenever people are loitering there either in the evening or early morning hours, engaging in the consumption of alcohol or recreational drug use, has led to contacts with other individuals in the area who we believe may be engaged in illegal activity," said Oakland police Capt. James Beere, who is in charge of enforcement in the area.

"Unfortunately sometimes it results in confrontation or arguments that escalate into violent crime and shootings."

Sanchez was standing outside a vehicle when at least one person approached her and tried to rob her. The gunman shot her. She was taken to a hospital where she died several days later.

The latest slaying took place on Christmas Eve. Officers responded to reports of gunfire around 8:19 p.m. When they arrived, the officers found a man lying in the middle of the street.

Firefighters and an ambulance crew tried to save the man, but he died at the hospital. His name was being withheld pending notification of next to kin.

He was the city's 134th homicide -- the highest number in Oakland since 148 in 2006. Last year Oakland police investigated 109 homicides in the city.

Michael Ziolkowski lives in the complex and heard four to vie shots on Christmas Eve. From his apartment, he saw the victim lying in the middle of the street. He said it appeared the man was shot in the back.

"Several people around him trying to help him and whatever, telling him to lie down. He kept trying to get up every now and then," said Ziolkowski.

The incident was a prelude to a violent Christmas weekend in Oakland. Police said there were multiple shootings, robberies and carjackings.

People who live in the area by Lake Merritt said they no longer felt safe there.

"It has been, within the last six months of me living here, increasingly more dangerous," said area reasident Maya Hendricks.

Hendricks no longer feels safe living next to Lake Merritt. She stays home after dark.

"It's not common to leave [my home] after 7 or 8 p.m. I'm trying to get in right now actually before the sun sets," said Hendricks, who was out walking her dog.

"It's scary. I don't know why the increase. I think a lot of the activity here has increased since the pandemic," said Ziolkowski.

The 1400 block of Lakeshore Avenue is a popular spot where people just park, hang out in their cars and admire the view of Lake Merritt. Most people just assume it's a safe place until they learn of all the shootings.

"It's a little intimidating and nerve racking. It's a little scary," said Matthew Ball, who was walking his dog at the lake.

As for Hendricks, she said the beauty and the vibrancy around the lake is no longer worth the risk.

"I'm actually moving out. So I don't have much to say other than I can't stay here much longer," said Hendricks. "It's becoming increasingly more uncomfortable for me personally [to live here]."

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