Authorities Search for Suspects in Oakland School Mass Shooting

Two of six adult victims are being treated for life threatening injuries as cops say there could be multiple suspects

Authorities are searching for those responsible for a Wednesday shooting at a school campus in Oakland, just before hundreds of students were dismissed, according to the New York Times. There are six known victims—two of whom have been hospitalized with life threatening injuries—all over 18 and all with a connection to Rudsdale Newcomer High School, just one of four programs at the East Oakland school complex where the shooting took place.

Oakland Police Assistant Chief Darren Allison said in a Wednesday evening news conference that police are searching for at least one suspect, though more people may be involved.

Police spokesperson Paul Chambers told CNN that officers quickly conducted a methodical search for evidence and are still investigating whether the shooting was a targeted effort or a random incident. As of right now, police are searching for multiple possible gunmen. Parents were directed by the Oakland Police Department to meet their children at a nearby church once campus was evacuated, with Oakland Academy of Knowledge across the street also evacuating. although the shooting did not involve that campus. 

In a statement posted to Twitter, Gavin Newsom addressed how “familiar,” shootings like these are becoming, saying “Y​​et again, our kids were in the crossfire. This cannot continue—gun violence has taken too much from our communities.”

Newsom signed legislation in July allowing private citizens to sue those who provide or manufacture illegal firearms in California. According to  Times, Oakland authorities said the Police Department investigated 360 assaults with a firearm this year alone, with this shooting one among over 130 school shootings across the nation this year. As recently as late August, an East Oakland school faced another school shooting when a twelve year old boy shot a 13-year-old classmate. 

According to EdSource, Acting Superintendent Sondra Aguilera addressed the shooting at the end of a regularly scheduled school board meeting on Wednesday. Aguilera insisted the incident should not be used to define Oakland Unified School District or Oakland. “This year especially we’ve seen far too much violence in our city,” she said. “We must all come together as a city, schools, government families, city residents, faith communities, nonprofit agencies and others to collectively work on creating a safe and healthy Oakland.” 

In 2020, the Oakland school board voted to eliminate its school police department and redirect the funds towards an alternative school safety plan that would embrace programs and resources dedicated to restorative justice and preventative measures. 

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf responded to the incident on Twitter, denouncing the “unbridled” access to firearms across the country. “Today’s gun violence at Sojourner Truth school shocks the soul,” she writes. “Our schools are sanctuaries for our children.”

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign for our newsletters today