Oakland Deputy Police Chief Eric Breshears said today that he is confident arrests will be made soon in a drive-by shooting that killed a 3-year-old boy in East Oakland on Monday. “We have investigative leads and expect that we will have closure to this,” Breshears said. He was speaking to reporters at a briefing outside a Little Ceasars pizza restaurant at 6447 International Blvd near where the toddler was shot at about 1:10 p.m. on Monday. “We’re hoping that having the crime being quickly solved will bring some closure to the family,” Breshears said. Police said they believe the targets of the shooting were two men who had no connection to the young boy and his family.
The men were struck by bullets but survived. The 3-year-old, whose name hasn’t yet been released, was pronounced dead at Children’s Hospital Oakland shortly after the shooting. A memorial for the boy has been set up on the sidewalk near where the shooting happened. Mourners have dropped off stuffed animals, candles, and a large baby bottle. There is also a large poster on which community members have written condolence messages. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and other city leaders will participate in a vigil for the boy tonight. “The death of an innocent child caught in crossfire in broad daylight breaks my heart,” Quan said in a statement. “Too many innocents are becoming statistics in our city. Gun battles in our neighborhoods are not and will not be the norm,” she said.
Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts put his department on tactical alert and had officers work overtime to blanket the area where the shooting occurred and surrounding neighborhoods, police spokeswoman Sgt. Holly Joshi said. She said, “The investigation of this case and the arrest of all involved parties is our highest priority.” The vigil will take place at the corner of International Boulevard and 64th Avenue at 7 p.m. Quan said she will be joined by faith-based leaders and other community leaders.
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