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Man Shot To Death On Crime-Ridden Oakland Cul-De-Sac Next To Lake Merritt

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- An Oakland man was shot to death Christmas Eve on a Lakeshore Ave. cul-de-sac next to Lake Merritt where a woman had been previously been fatally shot and seven other people have been wounded, authorities said.

All those incidents of gun violence have taken place since May, investigators told the East Bay Times. They did not disclose if the shootings were related.

Devani Aleman Sanchez of Oakland was shot to death on cul-de-sac on the Nov. 16th at about 12:50 a.m. She was taken to a hospital where she died several days later.

Police said she was standing outside a vehicle when at least one person approached her and tried to rob her at gunpoint.

In the latest incident, officers responded to reports of gunfire around 8:19 p.m. Friday. 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. 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]."

Anyone with information on the Friday night shooting is asked contact the homicide section at (510) 238-3821 or the tip line at (510) 238-7950.

Da Lin contributed to this report.

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