‘Nonstop Chaos': Shootings, Massive Sideshow Overwhelm Oakland Officers

Chief LeRonne Armstrong said officers responded to seven shootings, including one that turned deadly, and a large sideshow amid Fourth of July celebrations

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Oakland's police chief described Fourth of July as "nonstop chaos" as overwhelmed officers responded to several shootings and a massive sideshow over the course of about 15 hours.

Chief LeRonne Armstrong said between 6:25 p.m. Sunday and 9:54 a.m. Monday, there were at least seven shootings, including one that turned deadly, an unexplained death, and a "large and extremely violent and dangerous sideshow" that consisted of over 300 vehicles and over 200 additional spectators.

"The level of violence, I continue to say, is far too high," Armstrong said Monday afternoon. "Although we came out prepared to address fireworks as well as sideshow activity, the violence overtook all of our resources, and our officers were stretched to their maximum capacity last night."

The deadly shooting happened at 12:08 a.m. Monday along the 7700 block of Bancroft Avenue, Armstrong said. A 48-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds died at the scene.

A "vast majority" of the shootings involved celebratory gunfire, Armstrong said.

"This is one of the more violent Fourth of Julys that I've ever seen when it comes to celebratory gunfire," he said. "Typically we have a lot of fireworks activity. That's always concerning. But this year, the level of celebratory gunfire was something like we haven't seen before in the number of people that have been hit by gunfire over the last 24 hours. It's just unbelievable."

A second deadly incident, which police are calling an unexplained death, happened at 11:49 p.m. Sunday along the 4200 block of International Boulevard. An unresponsive man found suffering from blunt trauma to the head was transported to the hospital, but he later died, Armstrong said.

During the sideshow, one spectator was struck by a car and left with a major injury, Armstrong said.

Three people connected to the sideshow were arrested, and five guns were seized, according to Armstrong.

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