East Bay

Memorials Honor Victims of Orinda Shooting as Families Grapple With Loss

A sign at the memorial site read “Your Lives Matter."

Communities across the East Bay have created memorials to the victims of the Orinda Airbnb shooting that took the lives of five young people on Halloween night, as the families of those killed grapple with the loss of their loved ones.

An Orinda memorial grew throughout Saturday as people left flowers and candles. A sign at the memorial site read “Your Lives Matter.”

“We’re just looking for ways we can help,” said Tamara Stone, an Orinda resident who was shaken by the shooting. “This is nothing, it’s so small, but just a way we can give support to these families who are grieving tonight.”

One of the first victims identified in the shooting was 24-year-old Omar Taylor. His father, Omar Senior, said he got the startling call that night. He learned his son was deejaying at the party that night, and that he had been shot.

He spent two hours on Lucielle Way in Orinda, a usually quiet suburb, before racing to an area hospital where he found out his oldest son Omar Junior had died. He said his son had been working hard at becoming a deejay over the last few years.

“He would just always try to bring everybody together,” Taylor said. “He loved deejaying, loved playing, making the party move. That was his thing.”

Taylor said he’s been getting support from family, friends and complete strangers, but he’s still in shock that his oldest son is gone.

“Just the thought of never being able to have a conversation with my first-born kid, is just crushing to me,” Taylor said.

Omar Junior also had a younger brother, Omari, who attended school Friday, despite the tragic events of the night before.

Omari’s football coach, Tim Murphy, saw the impact it had on him.

“He was crying pretty good, and told me that his brother got shot and killed and I was just, I was thrown,” Murphy said.

The football team dedicated Friday night’s football game to Omar Junior.

Another victim identified in the shooting was Oshiana Tompkins, a 19-year-old whose smile could light up a room, according to friends. Her loved ones held a memorial this evening in her honor.

Her family said they didn’t know she was an organ donor, and in her final act she helped others.

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