An Oakland man was arraigned today on two counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder for a shooting at a restaurant near Jack London Square in April that left two people dead and five people wounded. Clem Thompkins, 22, also is charged with acting to benefit a criminal street gang, with using a firearm to cause deaths and great bodily injuries and with five street terrorism clauses. Thompkins, who was arrested in Richmond on Wednesday, would face life in prison if he’s convicted of the charges against him, according to Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Norbert Chu, who filed the charges against him.
Thompkins, who did not enter a plea, will return to Alameda County Superior Court on Monday to be assigned an attorney. Killed in the shooting at Sweet Jimmie’s at 311 Broadway at 12:42 a.m. on April 25 were 27-year-old William Jenkins of Oakland and 22-year-old Adam Williams of San Leandro. Both were fathers of young children and Williams was an after-school teacher’s aide at Peralta Elementary in Oakland. Five other people were wounded in the shooting but survived. Oakland police said they don’t think any of the seven victims were the intended targets of the shooting. Authorities said Thompkins and several other gang members drove by Sweet Jimmie’s and got into an argument with members of a rival gang who were standing outside the restaurant. They said Thompkins and his associates drove off and the members of the other gang also left. Thompkins and his associates returned to the scene a short time later with an assault rifle and Thompkins shot into the restaurant indiscriminately, police said.
Police are still seeking the other suspected gang members who were with Thompkins. About 20 of Williams’ family members and friends, many wearing T-shirts emblazoned with his photo, attended Thompkins’ brief hearing today. At the end of the hearing, a woman who was a friend of Williams shouted to Thompkins, “Dead man walking!” The woman declined to give her name. Darisha Fields, the mother of Williams’ 5-year-old son, Amari, said after the hearing that Thompkins “showed no feeling and snickered like it was funny” while he was in court. Fields said of Williams, “I miss him a lot.” She said her son has had difficulty in preschool, has had nightmares and had a tough time sleeping since Williams died. Fields said Amari now “talks about hurting people” and has his first therapy session on Thursday. She said the shooting “was a senseless killing” because all of the victims were innocent, not gang members. Referring to Thompkins, Fields said, “There was a dummy on the loose and I’m glad he got caught.”
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