OAKLAND (KCBS)— The murder rate in Oakland is down and so are gang-related shootings so far this year, according to police.
Oakland police said there have been nine fewer homicides in the past 13 weeks than during same period last year. As of Monday, there have been 25 homicides this year, compared to 34 over the same period last year.
"For the last two months, violence in Oakland has way down and it seems to come in these spurts so for like six weeks, there have been no murders east of High Street in East Oakland," said Mayor Jean Quan about the city's highest crime area.
Oakland Homicides And Gang Shooting Are Down, Oakland Police Say
The most recent homicide was the shooting death of 54-year-old former Oakland Tribune photographer Lionel "Ray" Fluker on Friday night. Quan said that it was probably not gang related.
Quan also said the city's Operation Ceasefire program, which involves communicating with gangs to reduce violence, is working. But the mayor said guns are the number one issue.
"It goes back to: How are we going to get control of semiautomatic weapons and guns in cities like Oakland where we have very strict rules, and in the state of California, but where people can still have access to illegal firearms?" Quan said.
The mayor renewed her call for Congress to pass legislation to require background checks prior to the sale of all firearms.
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