OAKLAND, CA. – All six persons who were shot at a Oakland educational campuses on Wednesday were connected to schools there, the city’s police chief said, adding that the attack was most likely gang-related.
Two of the victims are students, one is a counsellor, one is a security guard and two others work at the schools on rue Fontaine, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said during a Zoom press conference on Thursday.
Three victims are currently in hospital; two of whom suffered serious injuries. The other three have been released from hospital, the chief said. More than 30 bullets were fired at the Fontaine Street campus around 12:45 p.m. Wednesday.
OUSD carpenter Jason Arbuckle said he was one of the victims and sent pictures of himself to KTVU in hospital. In the text messages, Arbuckle wrote, “I’m fine and alive,” and “Right now I’m in a flurry, trying my best to get out of this place.” He added that he tells everyone, ‘Live your best life,’ because he’s lucky to be alive.”
The King Estates campus includes a cluster of schools – Rudsdale Continuation School, Newcomer high schools, BayTech Charter School and the headquarters of Sojourner Truth Independent Study.
OUSD carpenter Jason Arbuckle said he was one of six gunshot victims.
Armstrong said there were at least “two shooters and one other accomplice connected to this case, but they may have been more. We saw video that captured two specific shooters and a driver.”
The shooters breached the school’s entry point and immediately began firing multiple rounds, video from the scene shows.
He said he didn’t know if the front door was unlocked or not, but he doesn’t appear to have used any tools to break in at this point. He said the shooters didn’t get very far into the school.
“And so we don’t know at this point how they got in…if the door was unlocked or if it was already open,” Armstrong said. “These are the things that I will confirm as part of our investigation.”
He said police believed the shooting was gang-related and that the shooting was targeted – although those injured were not all intended targets. Armstrong said he didn’t know exactly who the intended target was.
“We believe this is related to ongoing conflicts in our city that have resulted in violence throughout our city,” Armstrong said. “This is completely unacceptable. We thank God that many other students were not harmed as a result of this action.”
Armstrong pointed out that while keys were required to enter some classrooms, officers were not waiting to receive those keys. Instead, police used break-in tools to enter every classroom and conduct a thorough search of the entire campus.
In August, Armstrong said police responded to the same campus involving a gun and made an arrest there.
“We had no information that would lead us to believe there was going to be a shooting on campus,” Armstrong said.
Following the shooting, classes have been canceled Thursday and immediately.
OUSD spokesman John Sasaki did not give a date when the campus will reopen.
“At least for now they will remain closed because we have to repair a lot of damage.”
KTVU’s Brooks Jarosz and Henry Lee contributed to this report.