The Oakland Art Murmur’s positive energy was ruined by the negative energy of a homicide. A four people were shot, one killed, between 20th and 21st and Telegraph Avenue – the local heart of Oakland’s “First Friday” or “Art Murmur” gathering.
As this blogger came upon the intersection, it was blocked off by tape and steel fences. A young man told me he heard a “pop-pop” and ran away from 20th, then came back to see what happened. A young woman who was a bit drunk said that she also heard what sounded like firecrackers, and was at 21st Street, near the shooting. She then said that she saw “three men” who were running away from the scene of the crime, and light-skinned, “not black” she said.
The shooters are still at large.
(Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering up to $25,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest of suspects in the case. Anyone with information may call police at 510-238-3821 or a tip line at 510-773-2805 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572. Tips can also be sent anonymously via text message. Text to 888-777 and include the words TipOaklandPD.)
“Six Or Seven Shots” Were Fired
If you listen to this YouTube video, below, one of the men says that he heard “six or seven shots” fired. But when the police officer comes up to ask if anyone saw anything, he turned off his camcorder.
The Bay Area News Group is reporting that Kiante Campbell, an 18-year-old man, is dead and a 17-year-old Oakland boy, who police said was a friend of Campbell’s, was wounded, as were a 24-year-old Oakland woman and a 29-year-old San Francisco woman. Officer Jason Andersen said that the shooting was the result of a confrontation between two groups of people. The women wounded were not part of it, and were hit by stray bullets.
A Blow To Art Murmur And Oakland
The shooting effectively ended Art Murmur for the night, as scores of people walked away from Telegraph after they discovered what happened. With the exception of one black man who said he was a project manager with Twitter, all were shocked. A friend who works at Cafe Van Kleef and who manages entry, said that it’s not the first time a shooting or rape or other crime has happened during Art Murmur, or what we call “First Friday,” but it’s the first time one has happened on the “strip” of Telegraph Avenue that’s the heart of Art Murmur.
Art Murmur was effectively changing Oakland’s image and making it a nationally-known center for art and culture.
Even though Art Murmur says it’s not part of the street festival, it benefited from it, and was associated with it. Moreover, when things were going well, Art Murmur officials did nothing to stop the growing street gathering. By my estimate, the event draws as many as 30,000 people to Oakland during the Summer.