The summertime violence continues

This was all happening during last night’s board meeting. So sad. Although Superintendent Tony Smith said yesterday that one of the boys had died, the West Oakland Middle School student — shot in front of his own house — was in critical but stable condition today.

As Tribune Reporter Cecily Burt reports:

OAKLAND — A 17-year-old Berkeley boy was under arrest Thursday as a suspect in a Wednesday evening shooting that left a 13-year-old West Oakland boy in critical condition and his 16-year-old friend also wounded.

A second suspect, who police believe is the actual gunman, is being sought.

Police believe the suspects are affiliated with a North Oakland gang and that the boys shot were innocent victims. The shooting happened about 5:54 p.m. Wednesday at the home of the 13-year-old in the 1600 block of 8th Street.

Officer Ed Somarriba said Thursday that the 13-year-old, a student at West Oakland Middle School, and the 16-year-old, a student at EXCEL High School who also lives in West Oakland, and some other people were standing outside when the 17-year-old and another youth walked up. The second youth pulled a gun and began shooting at the group, Somarriba said. Both suspects fled.

No one else was hurt. The victims were taken to hospitals, and the 13-year-old was in critical but stable condition Thursday.

Joey Stevens, 26, said he had ridden on his bike past the boys and was still in the area when he heard what he at first thought were fireworks. He stayed with the younger boy, whom he knows well, until the paramedics arrived.

“He was so scared. I told him to breathe and be calm,” Stevens said, tearing up as he recalled those moments. “He’s a real sweet kid. He doesn’t mess with anybody. He went to school every day.”

You can read the whole story here.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.