HAYWARD — Three in the past week, nine for 2010.

The double slaying last weekend took Hayward's homicide rate past the total for all of 2009, when seven people were slain.

While the crimes are not connected, Sgt. Steve Brown said he's alarmed by the age of victims and suspects in many of the cases.

"Two 18-year-olds, one 17, just in the past week," he said. "That's tragic. It makes me wonder what's going on with youth."

Early Sunday, two men were slain on Westpark Street when someone shot both of them numerous times with a rifle.

Police chased a fleeing car into Oakland, where a manhunt ended with the capture of two suspects — a 17-year-old Fremont girl and a 21-year-old Oakland man — who are believed to have been at the scene of the shooting.

Their names and the names of victims were not released by police as of Monday afternoon.

Hayward's first two homicides were street shootings 20 minutes apart on Jan. 3. The victims were 20 and 21 years old and, despite the timing, police do not believe they are linked. One was killed on Orlando Avenue, the other about four miles away on South Garden Avenue.

There were two fatal shootings at night spots: a 21-year-old was shot outside of Mike's Sports Bar & Grill in January, and a 20-year-old was slain outside Roberto's Cocktail Lounge in February.

Hayward's other two homicides of the year were related to a botched robbery at a car lot in February in which a 63-year-old security guard and 53-year-old truck driver were slain.

Brown said the caseload has been taxing.

"I'm not saying it's a burden," he said. "A lot of work goes into one case, let alone two at the same time."

He said they've had such an overload of slayings that they have moved investigators out of the special victims and property crimes divisions and into homicide.

Monday evening, Brown and the family of Samuel Nava III handed out fliers at the corner of Industrial Parkway and Mission Boulevard, where the 17-year-old was shot last week by a man who opened fire on the car Nava was riding in.

"Whether the suspect was mean mugging (making a face), or the victim or one of his friends said something that was taken out of context, (Nava got) shot at that busy intersection," he said. "How could (the gunman) stand on the median in a very, very busily traveled commute intersection and we don't have anyone coming forth?"

In the unincorporated areas of Alameda County near Hayward, four young men were slain in February and March in unrelated shootings. One was 21, two 19 and the other 18.

Brown said that unlike robberies or burglaries, where the criminals are repeat offenders with recognizable motives, the homicides are more difficult to decipher.

"For us to have this many is certainly an anomaly," he said. "But to say is there any one factor to blame, or something we could be doing to prevent them? Absolutely not."

Anyone who has information about any of these crimes may call police at 510-293-7064.

Eric Kurhi covers Hayward. Contact him at 510-293-2473.