Homicide Continues City’s Violent Streak

Homicide Continues City’s Violent Streak

Alameda Police Department (APD) is investigating a homicide that took place in the area of Park Street and Shore Line Drive near the Coral Reef Inn at 10:45 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8.

APD responded to a call of shots fired in the area. Multiple units were deployed to the scene. Upon arrival, officers located an adult male victim suffering from life-threatening gunshot wounds, according to an APD report. The male victim’s identity has not been released. APD officers immediately rendered medical aid until members of the Alameda Fire Department arrived. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

During the preliminary investigation, officers learned the suspect fled the scene prior to police arrival, according to a report. APD’s Violent Crimes Unit has now taken the lead in the homicide investigation.

APD investigators believe the shooting was a result of a dispute between the victim and one or more suspects. Online reports said loud shouting was heard before several gunshots went off.

“This was not a random crime,” stated APD in the report.

The homicide adds to the growing number of gun-related incidents taking place in Alameda this year. This is the 16th gun-related crime since June 1, eclipsing the 10 such crimes that took place in 2018 and 2019 combined. Arrests have been made in five of the cases including 27-year-old Amelia Minjarez, who was arrested for allegedly shooting an Alameda man in the back while also stealing his car Thursday, Oct. 22 (“Shooter Arrested,” Nov. 5). Also, an unidentified man reported being shot in the leg on Monday, Oct. 26 on the 200 block of Maple Way, (“City Responds to Recent Gun Violence,” Oct. 30).

The city released a statement last month addressing the surge in crime since the beginning of the summer.

“I understand and share the concerns of residents and businesses that stem from the recent increases in gun violence and gun purchases in the Bay Area, including Alameda,” stated Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft in the release. “I believe some of this increase is related to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and some is related to the tense political climate in this tumultuous election year. Regardless of the root causes of these incidents, I am confident that the Alameda Police Department, under Interim Chief Fenn’s leadership, is focused on responding to and solving gun-related crimes as they occur.”

APD stated that officers were coordinating a multidisciplinary approach to respond to and minimize crime in Alameda. APD will use multiple procedures to deter crime, which includes a proactive response from patrol officers to calls for shots fired including the search for witnesses, possible video footage, and collecting physical evidence. APD will also send a high-profile patrol to areas where past shootings have occurred.

The statement concluded, “Alameda’s City management, police department, and elected officials prioritize the community’s safety and wellbeing.”

This is the third homicide in Alameda this year. The first occurred on Friday, Jan. 31, when Justin John Benton struck a woman with his vehicle at the intersection of Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway and Coral Sea Street while driving with a blood alcohol content level above 0.08 (“Fatal Accident Claims San Francisco Woman,” Feb. 6). The second homicide occurred on Saturday, July 11, when Circle K store clerk Wenyong Huang shot Ethan Escorcio after a brief confrontation during his shift (“Clerk Shoots, Kills Shoplifter,” July 16).

The investigation into Sunday night’s shooting is ongoing.

“APD is deeply saddened and outraged by this selfish and vicious crime,” APD stated in the news release. “Our condolences go out to the family members of the deceased.”

APD is asking anyone with relevant information about the shooting to contact APD’s Violent Crimes Unit at 337-8538.