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Oakland jewelry store owner opens fire on armed robbers; fed-up merchants seek emergency meeting with police

Oakland jewelry store owner fires on armed robbers in shootout
Oakland jewelry store owner fires on armed robbers in shootout 02:47

An attempted armed robbery that ended in a gun battle between the suspects and the owner of a jewelry store has shaken those who live and work in an Oakland neighborhood so much that they are calling for an emergency meeting with police and their local council member.

Just after 10 a.m. Monday morning, employees of MSM Jewelry at International Boulevard and 42nd Avenue were walking in, preparing to open the shop for the day when two suspects burst through the door, guns drawn. 

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The owner of the store said he shot at the suspects, and they fired back multiple times in an incident captured on security camera video. No one in the store was hurt, but the owner said he may have hit one of the suspects.

This is just the latest in a string of violent armed robberies in the city's Fruitvale District.

Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo said it's gotten so bad, that local merchants are calling for an emergency meeting with city officials.

"To express their concern, but we're working with the police captain for the area. We did assign ongoing officers on a daily basis. We do have ambassadors in the violence prevention program," said Gallo.

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But even with all that police presence, Gallo said he understands business owners' frustrations. The intersection continues to be a target for crime. It's one of the reasons the councilman is advocating Oakland declare a state of emergency.

"You know, at one time growing up here, I did see the [California] Highway Patrol on a regular basis because International Boulevard and 42nd Avenue, they're highways; they're state highways, and they need to monitor, patrol that area like they used to," said Gallo.

It's unclear how much support Gallo has from his fellow council members and the mayor's office, but he said he plans to talk with them all this week.

He said it's lucky no one was killed in this latest shooting and he doesn't want to wait around for another to happen.

"That action, that activity, I don't care what color you are, where you're from, what's your age, no, we're not going to accept that behavior. We have to enforce the law and that's what we need to get back to," said Councilman Gallo.

Gallo said he plans to invite both representatives from the Oakland Police Department and the Alameda County Sheriff'sOffice to the emergency meeting with merchants on Thursday. 

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