A suspected gang member was sentenced today to 17 years in state prison for the death of a 16-year-old girl in a shooting outside a liquor store in East Oakland five years ago in which police said she was an innocent victim. Darius Esters, 23, was charged with murder and attempted murder for the shooting in the 2700 block of Talbot Avenue at about 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 8, 2012, that claimed the life of Tattiaunn Turner.
Oakland police said Turner was outside of a liquor store with four other people when two suspects opened fire on them. Turner and a 23-year-old man, who police said was among the intended targets in the shooting, were both struck by gunfire. The man survived the shooting but Turner was pronounced dead at the scene.
Homicide investigator Phong Tran wrote in a probable cause statement that multiple witnesses identified Esters as one of two gunmen who had targeted the four people who were with Turner in a gang-related shooting. Esters remained at large for nearly four years after the shooting but was arrested on Feb. 20, 2016, for an unrelated gun possession case and on March 15, 2016, he was charged with murder for Turner’s death.
Esters pleaded no contest to the lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter and attempted voluntary manslaughter earlier this year. Turner’s relatives said Turner had suffered many tragedies in her short life and lived with her family on 99th Avenue in East Oakland and gave birth to a daughter less than a year before she was killed. Her father, William Turner, who was 29, was fatally shot near the corner of 32nd Street and San Pablo Avenue on March 5, 2008.
Turner’s cousin, 15-year-old Hadari Askari, was fatally shot outside a housing complex in the 6700 block of Leona Creek Drive at about 8 p.m. on July 10, 2012, less than a month before Turner was killed. Two days after Turner was killed, her uncle Brandon Turner said she “found all the joy in being a mother” and despite the hardships in her life, “she was a very outgoing lady and the life of the party.” Prosecutor Keydon Levy said today that surveillance camera footage of the shooting indicates that there was a second shooter in addition to Esters, but that suspect has never been identified or arrested.
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