By Betty Yu
OAKLAND, California (KPIX) — An Oakland woman died Friday night when a stray bullet entered her Laurel neighborhood home on Friday just before 9:45 p.m.
Neighbors and witnesses said a stray bullet hit and killed a mother of two young children inside her home the 3600 Block of 38th Avenue near Masterson Street.
Anthony Pawlowicz was inside Laurel Lounge on the corner of MacArthur Boulevard and 38th Friday when shots rang out across the street.
“Earlier that day everybody was kind of nervous because there was a bunch of guys hanging out gathering their weapons, figured it was a retaliatory thing or something between factions,” he said. “My friend walked by me he said they got hella guns over there.”
Oakland Police have not released the victim’s identity.
Councilwoman Janini Ramachandran, whose district includes Laurel, said the neighborhood is made up of many immigrant-owned businesses. She said the victim was an Asian woman, who was sleeping when she was hit.
Ramachandran plans to meet with the victim’s husband. She said the two were longtime Oakland residents.
“We’re in a crime wave, and there’s things going on. But if you can’t be safe in the comfort of your own home on an evening with your family and falling asleep in your own home then things absolutely have to change,” she said.
Pawlowicz said a group of young men gathered on the corner across from the victim’s home shortly before he heard shots.
“When they started gathering, we went inside; I went inside. It wasn’t until the shots when we came out, noticed all the cops. That’s when I came around the corner and seen them covering the lady here in the street and putting her on a gurney,” he said.
“This area’s been hot lately. A lot of stuff’s been going on. I know a couple of elderly women that were mugged, broad daylight. One lady got punched and then kicked when she was on the ground,” he added.
Ramachandran said she will support automated license plate readers to help crack down on crime in Oakland. She advocated for more police presence and said OPD will soon dedicate one foot patrol officer in the Laurel area.
“We hear gunshots all the time in this neighborhood,” said resident Gerald Chambers. “It’s not unusual at all. We got sideshows; we got people congregating all the time. That’s not usual. Of course, I hate to see lives lost. It’s terrible. There’s a lot of children in this neighborhood, lots of innocent people.”
Pawlowicz was back at Laurel Lounge on Saturday. He said the violence had nothing to do with the bar or its patrons.
“It’s got to stop. It’s out of control around here. But how do you stop it? Therein lies the question. You have to put a cop on every corner, as it is they’re not safe by themselves anyway,” he said.
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