Juneteenth Celebration Turns Tragic With Shooting In Oakland

 June 21, 2024

A serene celebration transformed into chaos as gunfire erupted at a Juneteenth event in Oakland.

On the evening of June 19, a shooting at Lake Merritt disrupted a largely peaceful gathering, resulting in multiple injuries.

According to Daily Mail, about 5,000 people had come together at Lake Merritt to celebrate Juneteenth, a day marked by community and reflection. However, around 8:15 PM, a disruptive sideshow featuring motorbikes and vehicles caused chaos.

Details on The Violent Shift at Lake Merritt

The Oakland Police Department overseeing the unsanctioned gathering had a substantial presence, with 28 officers and four sergeants on-site. Despite their preparation, tensions escalated into a physical altercation and eventually led to the sound of gunfire dispersing the crowd.

In the aftermath of the shooting, emergency services rushed to aid the victims. Four individuals were urgently transported to the hospital with gunshot wounds, while others sought medical attention through private means. Thankfully, no fatalities have been reported.

The chaos didn't spare law enforcement either. Several officers faced physical aggression; one was assaulted severely enough to warrant an arrest.

Investigation and Responses to the Shooting

The Oakland Fire Department and local hospitals were on high alert as the situation unfolded. “The number of people shot or injured could have grown since he was last updated,” said Michael Hunt, a spokesperson for the fire department, highlighting the fluidity of the crisis.

Witnesses provided harrowing accounts of the unexpected violence. Tamia Robinson, a participant at the celebration, recounted the terrifying moments when what was initially mistaken for fireworks turned out to be gunshots.

Tamia Robinson stated:

Next thing you hear, another 'boom, boom, boom, boom, boom' from the other side of the lake. We come down here, walking, and my sister sprints across the street, where she’s seen one of her friends were laying out.

Robinson also expressed her deep frustration and sadness regarding the violence at a cultural celebration. “It's a shame we can't even get together as a community and enjoy each other, celebrate each other, celebrate our ancestors, without somebody being killed,” she lamented.

Community and Police Efforts Marred by Violence

Paul Chambers, the strategic communications manager for the Oakland Police Department, remarked on the incident, emphasizing the department’s original intentions for the evening. “We wanted to make sure people had a safe time, but unfortunately, that did not happen," he stated.

Authorities are still trying to piece together exactly what happened and whether the shooting involved one or multiple assailants. The investigation remains active, with officers combing through various recordings and social media posts that captured the events of the night.

The community was left to grapple with the violence that had intruded upon their celebration. The event, meant to honor freedom and unity, was overshadowed by acts that displayed the stark contrast to these ideals.


As investigations continue, the Oakland community and its leaders are calling for peace and reflection. They hope not only for justice but also for understanding and measures that will prevent such tragedies in the future. Community solidarity and responsible celebrations remain high on their agenda as they strive to reclaim the spirit of Juneteenth marred by this unfortunate incident.

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