OAKLAND -- Two suspects were arrested in Pittsburg on Tuesday in the drive-by shooting that killed a 3-year-old boy in broad daylight on bustling International Boulevard, law enforcement sources said.
Police said they had been working around the clock to find the suspects who fired at two men on the street, but instead hit 3-year-old Carlos Fernando Nava.
The shooting was "shocking to Oakland Police Department and to me personally," Deputy Chief Eric Breshears said Tuesday, standing a few feet from the sidewalk memorial -- with Teddy bears, flowers, notes and religious candles -- that sits not far from where the boy was shot.
Later Tuesday, about 300 people ---- young, old, African-American, Latino and white, religious leaders and city officials ---- came to a street memorial at the shooting scene. The boy's mother, Theresa Nava, with several relatives, was escorted to the speakers' area. She sobbed, but did not speak and many in the crowd offered condolences.
Police Chief Anthony Batts told the crowd that people need to stop talking about ending violence and take action by cooperating with police who are trying to solve crimes.
"Many people may not like what I have to say .... It takes an animal to take the life of a 3-year-old in broad daylight,-- Batts told the crowd that responded with overwhelming cheers and applause.
Later Batts told reporters that multiple search warrants have been served in many cities around the Bay Area but refused to provide details about any arrests. He added, "We will potentially have this locked down in 24 to 36 hours."
Vice Mayor Desley Brooks (Eastmount-Seminary) called on the community to help rid the streets of guns.
"I am appealing to each and every one of you,-- Brooks told the crowd, "if you know someone who has a gun, find a way, have them get it to church or a police station so we can get them off the streets." "
Police and Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of up to $40,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect, or suspects, who drove by the 6400 block of International Boulevard about 1:15 p.m. Monday and sprayed at least 15 bullets from a moving car.
Carlos, in a little plastic stroller in the shape of a car, along with his mother and father and their two other children, a 6-year-old boy, and a 9-month-old girl, were on the sidewalk near the All-Mart store and Little Caesars Pizza when the bullets started to fly. One hit Carlos in the neck. The youngest fatal shooting victim in recent Oakland history, Carlos died later at Children's Hospital Oakland.
Two men who were the intended targets sustained minor injuries. Police have not released any information about the car that was used in the drive-by shooting.
Police set up a command post on a nearby side street and the Oakland Housing Authority and Alameda County Sheriff's deputies were helping patrol the area Tuesday.
People who stopped by the street memorial and cardboard message board, where they wrote notes to the family in Spanish and in English, were visibly shaken by the shooting. Many said they would no longer walk from their homes to the shops, eateries and stores in the area for fear of being shot.
"(Carlos' death) should serve as a wake-up call to Oakland police," said Veronica Gutierrez, who lives in the area. "They should step up and do something about (the violence).--
Police and city leaders were scrambling for money and assistance to curb the increased violence that has gripped East and West Oakland this year.
Quan said she has appealed to Gov. Jerry Brown for help with enforcement from the California Highway Patrol. Quan also said the U.S. Attorney has been asked to form a joint task force of the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI to work with Oakland police to address the increase in shootings in West and East Oakland.
Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson said in a statement that he joined in sympathy with all Oakland residents affected by the violence.
"We can't wait for the cavalry to ride into town and save us, we must band together across neighborhoods and unite families," Carson said. "We must tell those in our neighborhood, those that come into our neighborhood that this must stop, this will stop.--
This year has been a particularly deadly one in Oakland with 73 homicides to date. There were 52 at this time last year. Anyone with information about the shooting can call police at 510-238-3821 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-3211 or 510-777-8572.
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