Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan said today that he tried to comfort a 4-year-old boy who saw his mother fatally shot in North Oakland Wednesday night.
Jordan said the shooting near the corner of 54th Street and Shattuck Avenue at about 8:43 p.m. was "very tragic."
He said he fears that, "For a 4-year-old boy to witness a shooting like this will be a memory in his mind for a long time. I don't know how he'll recover."
Police said the mother was from San Leandro but didn't release her name or age.
Jordan said police know why the woman was in the North Oakland neighborhood, which is near Children's Hospital Oakland, but don't want to release that information at this time.
He said police haven't arrested anyone in connection with the shooting but will release a description of the suspect and the suspect's vehicle later today.
Shootings in that area are "very unusual" and witnesses have been "cooperative" with police because they're concerned about the incident, Jordan said.
A second woman was with the woman who was fatally shot and sought medical treatment, Jordan said. He didn't elaborate on the second woman's injuries except to say that she wasn't hit by gunfire. Jordan said he went to the shooting scene because he was working late to help oversee a major operation in which police and FBI agents served warrants at the Acorn housing complex in West Oakland.
He said when he first saw the 4-year-old boy, whose first name is Joshua, he was sitting in a patrol car and playing with an officer's flashlight. Jordan said he gave the boy a police sticker and swore him in as a junior police officer. Another officer later took the boy to a nearby McDonald's restaurant to get some food, he said.
Jordan said the shooting of the woman in front of her young boy is "very personal" for him because he has young children himself. The boy is now with other family members, he said.
The woman who was killed Wednesday night was the second woman to be fatally shot in two days.
Another woman was fatally shot in the 2400 block of Foothill Boulevard at about 2:43 p.m. Tuesday. Her name also hasn't yet been released by police. Jordan said police believe that the woman and the suspect in that case knew each other but aren't sure if the shooting could have resulted from a drug deal that went bad.
The chief said it's "unusual" for women to be homicide victims on consecutive days because most of Oakland's murder victims are males. He said Oakland has now had 31 homicides so far this year compared to 37 at this time last year.