Three weeks after an 8-year-old Oakland girl was shot to death at a slumber party, a 1-year-old boy was gunned down Wednesday morning, earning him the newest, and most unfortunate, ranking of becoming the city's youngest homicide victim of the year.
The 1-year-old, who relatives were calling "Baby Drew," was pronounced dead at Children's Hospital, and his 20-year-old father died at the scene. No one was arrested and why the two were killed was unclear.
Konya Baylis, 33, the boy's great aunt, told NBC Bay Area off-camera the toddler's name was Drew Jackson and his father was Andrew Thomas of Fresno. Relatives said that Thomas was in town for the funeral service a few days ago of another homicide victim - his cousin, 18-year-old Alquino Rivera, killed Saturday in the 800 block of Ney Avenue. Bey wondered aloud if the double homicide was related to Rivera's death. On Thursday, a suspect - Kendall Eatmon - was charged in Rivera's death.
Police have not commented on this possible connection.
Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said police were called out about 2:45 a.m. in the 400 block of Ghormley Avenue in the Brookfield Village neighborhood of East Oakland after hearing reports of gunfire. They found the young father and baby suffering from gunshot wounds inside the house. Paramedics rushed in to try to save them, to no avail.
“This is incredulous that people are shooting and killing kids in their sleep,” Watson said.
Witnesses on scene told NBC Bay Area they heard six to eight bullets fired from the back of the house, which is near the 98th Street exit of Interstate Highway 880. Relatives said there was a house full of other people, including children when the gunfire rang out.
One relative was overheard saying that this killing was "intentional." But police did not confirm this.
Later in the morning, a stuffed teddy bear and dog lay at the base of a tree in front of the home, while police searched the home for clues.
Drew is the youngest of the 61 homicide victims iin Oakland this year. And his killing came hours after National Night Out celebrations wrapped up, where neighborhoods held block parties to get to know each other better and prevent violence.
Community members say they are fed up.
“The tipping point was a year ago when the first child got murdered,” Oakland Pastor Billy Dixon said. “The tipping point was 10 years ago when the murdering was out of control.”
On July 17, 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine of Oakland had earned the dubious title of being the city's youngest homicide victim.
The would-be third-grader was gunned down in the city's Dimond district, killed about 11 p.m. when she and her friend opened the door to a hail of gunfire. She had been sleeping over at her best friend's house that night and became Oakland's 54th homicide of the year at the time.
No one has been arrested in her death, either.
Jeff Shuttleworth of Bay City News contributed to this report.