OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- An emotional Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong went again before cameras Thursday to condemn the latest shooting which left a teenage girl dead, imploring members of the community to work together with police to help stop the scourge of gun violence.
At a press conference at Oakland police headquarters, Armstrong provided additional details of the shooting late Wednesday night along the 5000 block of Bancroft Ave. in the city's Fairfax neighborhood, saying it appeared to be the result of road rage.
Officers were called to Highland Hospital at around 11:30 p.m. where a 15-year-old girl had been taken with severe gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The victim has since been identified as Oakland resident Shamara Young.
Armstrong said the girl had been riding in a vehicle with her uncle when he began arguing with another driver. A person or persons from the other vehicle then opened fire with a fusillade of bullets, hitting the girl with multiple rounds.
"Everybody in this city should be hurt," said Armstrong. "I hope that everybody in this city wakes up and understands, finally, how much do we have to bring before the public, how many times do we have to cry out for help? How many times do we have to say to you that we are in a moment of crisis? Our children are in danger."
Raw Video: Oakland Police Chief Remarks On Teen Girl's Death in Road Rage Shooting
Armstrong stopped to compose himself during his remarks, and after a long pause where he choked back tears, Armstrong continued.
"When you have children, you understand. You understand when you're kids leave home, you expect them to return safe. And so, in this moment, obviously, I feel the pain. I'm sure the entire community feels the pain. But let this be a call in to all of us, that we have to do something. We have to come together as a community to keep our children safe, keep everybody in our community safe, from all the gun violence that all of us are being impacted by."
Armstrong said he received an email from a distraught mother which contained audio of Wednesday's shooting outside her home in which more than 50 rounds were heard being fired.
He said while it's safe to say more police resources would help prevent more instances of gun violence, he reiterated the response by police should not just be to put more people in jail, pointing to violence prevention programs already in place.
"I plead with the members of this community to come together. We're not going to arrest our way out of this. This is really going to take a collaborative effort to ask people to put down the guns and stop causing so much hurt and pain in our community."
Armstrong continued, "The police department has not done enough. The community has not done enough. the leaders of this city has not done enough."
Young, who Armstrong said attends high school in Oakland, was city's 109th homicide of the year.
Her mother added her own plea for justice to the chief's in a video shared by the OPD.
"It's not called snitching," Young's mother said. "It's called protecting your city."
Young's mother, whose name was not being released by police, said if the person who killed her daughter will kill a 15-year-old, they will kill anyone and at any time.
The person responsible needs to be removed from the community, Young's mother said.
She said her daughter "loved to go out and have fun with her friends."
"She was also about making herself better," Young's mother said. "She was always pushing to strive for the best."
Young loved her family and would smother her mother with attention.
Officers had originally responded to a ShotSpotter alert of a shooting at the location, but the victim and the gunman had fled the scene before they arrived. A short time later, they discovered the wounded teenage girl had been driven to Highland Hospital.
The teen was the latest victim of the year-long surge of violence on Oakland streets. The 109 homicides match the entire total for 2020. In 2019, Oakland had 75 homicides.
The Oakland City Council recently approved more police academies to help bolster a department losing overworked officers to other cities and agencies. Barry Donelan, president of the Oakland Police Officers Association says more needs to be done now.
"It's 18 months from someone applying today to join the police department to being out there as a standalone officer contributing to public safety," said Donelan. "These are aspirational numbers they are looking at at this point."
Andria Borba contributed to this report.
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