2 Good Samaritans Injured in Robbery Turned Shooting in Oakland's Chinatown

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Police are investigating a robbery turned shooting that left two good Samaritans injured in Oakland’s Chinatown Saturday afternoon.

The entire attack was caught on surveillance camera.

This recent attack happened as calls grow louder for more to be done to stop the violence in Asian neighborhoods.

In the video, two men in hoodies appear to try to rob a woman.

Two other men then jump in to help her. There's a struggle and then a gunshot.

“Everything changed when the gun was pulled out," said Mr. Li, who is recovering at the hospital. "The guy was pointing the gun at the girl’s head, her boyfriend took action and charged the guy moving the gun away from her head."

That's when he jumped in. He was hit on his left shoulder and right thigh, barely missing his main artery.

In the video, it showed one of the men who tried to help fall to the floor. While the other kept trying to hang on to one of the attackers and appeared to be hit in the head with a weapon.

"People are very angry about what they are seeing,” said Charl Chan of the Oakland Chinatown Chamberof Commerce.

Chan told NBC Bay Area that the attack is especially shocking because one of the young men trying to help was seriously injured.

In another video, a police officer is seen holding the victim's arm tightly to try and stop the bleeding before an ambulance arrives on scene.

Chan said the police are trying to help but they can only do so much.

"I think the legal system has been failing. Because we have seen many criminals, they have got caught,” Chan said. “But guess what, if not the same day, then the next day, they are released."

Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong has heard stories like these too many times in Oakland.

"It saddens me we continue to see videos of community members in our Asian Chinatown area being victimized," he said, adding it’s dangerous when people put their life on the line to help others.

Due to the recent shooting, volunteer groups like the Asian front-liners led by Jay Bounphengsy patrolled Oakland’s Chinatown. A dozen volunteers escorted people to their vehicles or walked them home.

"I got kids. My friends, they all got families to worry about too. But at the same time, enough is enough, we're going have to step it up for the community,” Bounphengsy said.

Bounphengsy has been patrolling Oakland’s Chinatown on and off since February.

On a recent patrol, he wore a kevlar vest, an extra precaution because it's become so dangerous lately.

Chan told NBC Bay Area Li is expected to make a full recovery.

“We’ve done a lot of positive things by creating new positions like creating a community liaison officer to Chinatown Community Liaison to the Fruitvale Violence Crime Operations Center,” Armstrong said.

He said officers are leaving at an alarming rate. 

In January, there were 723 officers and now that number has dropped to 704.

“What concerns me the most is that we continue to see hundreds of calls in the city of Oakland that go unanswered,” he said.

The other huge challenge: violent crime.

“As chief it’s my job to increase morale and let them know I appreciate them,” Armstrong said.

Meanwhile, Li said he appreciates and sees more police presence in the Asian community.  He wants more.

“OPD is trying their best, these attacks are getting much more aggressive,” he said.  “I’m hoping that they will do something about it.”

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