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Three-year-old boy killed in East Oakland shooting

on August 8, 2011

According to the Oakland Police Department, a three-year-old boy shot this afternoon during a drive-by in East Oakland has died.

Police believe that two men who were standing on the sidewalk near the boy on the 6400 block of International Boulevard were likely the intended targets of the shooting; both were wounded and were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Investigators say that the boy is not related to them and has no other connection to them.

The names of the three shooting victims have not been released.

According to OPD spokesperson Officer Holly Joshi, Chief Anthony Batts has put the department on tactical alert in response to the shooting, and has asked day watch officers to work overtime assisting investigators. “The investigation of this case and the arrest of all involved parties is our priority,” said Joshi in a police statement, calling the boy’s death “a horrendous act of violence.”

In a statement released Monday evening, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan expressed outrage over the shooting, stating “The  death of an innocent child caught in crossfire in broad daylight today breaks my heart. Too many innocents are becoming statistics in our city.  Gun battles in our neighborhoods are not and will not be the norm.”

Quan said that the city has taken steps to combat violent crime, including stepping up police patrols and asking for federal help in preventing illegal weapons from being smuggled into the city. The city has also “asked the U.S. Attorney to form a joint task force of  the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Drug Enforcement  Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to work with the  Oakland Police to address the increase in shootings in West and East Oakland,” she wrote.

The mayor’s office also announced that a vigil will be held at 7 pm Tuesday evening at the intersection of 64th Avenue and International Boulevard.

This story was updated at 10:30 pm on August 8, 2011.

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