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Oakland shooting rampage occurred at birthday party, police say

Crime, Law and JusticeShootingsCrimeLaw Enforcement

Oakland police are investigating what may have motivated two men to approach a birthday party Monday night and open fire, hitting seven men.

The status of one of two men who were critically injured was upgraded Tuesday to stable condition. All victims were aged 23 to 31, Oakland police said.

Several calls regarding gunfire were first reported shortly after 6 p.m. between 96th Avenue and Olive Street. When officers arrived, they discovered several victims. Initial reports state that two armed suspects approached a group of men who were celebrating a birthday and began shooting at them, according to police.

"This is really kind of outrageous," Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent told the Oakland Tribune from the scene. "Six o'clock at night isn't that late at night. [There were] a fair number of rounds fired out here, so [this is] really pretty brazen stuff on the street corner at that time of day."

Whent said it was possible that some of the people shot by the spray of gunfire were not even targeted, the newspaper reported. It was unclear whether the shooters were on foot or in a vehicle.

According to the Tribune, a large group of people were out on the street, with residents saying there was a barbecue in the neighborhood. The newspaper quoted an unidentified witness who said he saw a man shot in the neck as he walked down the street with children.

Police scanner traffic captured some of the chaos as police responded to the scene. An officer referred to one man drifting in and out of consciousness, shot in the neck.

Police rushed to find other victims, with officers reporting one man shot in the leg and foot.

As of September, there were more than 3,000 gun crimes this year in Oakland, a city with a population just short of 400,000 and a reputation of being one of the state's most dangerous.

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Twitter: @leeromney

lee.romney@latimes.com

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