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Surging Gun Violence Leaves Oakland Neighborhood Living On The Edge

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- Residents of Oakland's Eastmont Hills neighborhood are fed up with weekly gun violence, and are even more upsetting by the lack of official response to stop it.

Neighbors pointed to a specific troubled intersection, Ritchie Street and Ney Avenue. They said there have been shootings there at least once a week in the last month, the latest was on Wednesday Morning that left bullet holes in many houses and cars. A home surveillance video showed the shootout resulted in 20 to 30 shoots.

"A bullet went inside of my bathroom. If I was in my bathroom, I would've been shot," said neighbor Meelah Ilieva.

"My sister's house over there, (a) bullet went through her window," said neighbor Pharoah Powell.

"All of sudden, (a) machine gun goes off. I don't know whether to lay on the floor. There's nowhere to hide," said neighbor Teddy Foster.

"We're scared, but at the same time, we're very angry," said neighbor Alex Minas.

Police believed the Wednesday shooting was gang-related and that all the recent shootings were likely retaliatory shootings.

About 30 fed up neighbors met with KPIX 5. Every person came to share a story of a close encounter.

"That car right there, you can see the actual bullet holes. That was from a couple of weeks ago. My aunt right there, her windows, they were shot out," said Powell.

"They shot my car, put a hole in my motor and ruined my car," said Ray Morgan.

"I have a bullet through my living room window," said Foster.

Parker Elementary is right next to the intersection. KPIX 5 has done reports of daytime shootings that sent kids at the playground screaming and running away from gunfire as far back as 2018.
"Enough is enough. And I don't think the kids and families in our neighborhood should be living in a lawless environment," said neighbor Jose Resulel.

Neighbors blame gang and drug activity. In the short-term, they want cameras at the intersection, more lighting, more police patrols and traffic enforcement. The city approved adding more speed bumps on Ney Avenue and a roundabout at the intersection, but construction is pushed back to 2023. Neighbors want them now, believing it'll deter the bad guys from using their street.

"I'm fed up, too. I've been fighting hard to make sure that we're getting the resource that we need," said Oakland District 6 Councilman Loren Taylor.

Councilman Taylor represents the neighborhood. He said the police will increase presence. The city also just expanded the Shotspotter technology to the intersection. The councilman also secured additional resources for this area.

"There are some things that are in the way. And I'm working hard to remove those obstacles and work with the city administrator," said Taylor.

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