OAKLAND -- Gunfire rang out in the aftermath of an event meant to highlight the city's creative resurgence Friday night, leaving an 18-year-old man dead and three other people, including a 17-year-old boy, wounded, police said Saturday.
It was believed to be the first time in the seven-year history of the popular First Friday event that such deadly violence had occurred. The shooting happened as the crowded event was winding down and left attendees and organizers wondering about its future.
"We can't pretend that it's not an issue, that it doesn't exist," said First Friday volunteer Eric Arnold. "If First Friday goes away, we're still left with the problem of violence. We're all responsible."
The teen shot to death was Kiante Campbell, of Oakland. Campbell's friend, a 17-year-old Oakland boy, was also shot, police said, as were a 24-year-old Oakland woman and a 29-year-old San Francisco woman. None of their names were released.
Police said the women were not part of the confrontation and were hit by stray bullets as they walked in the area.
The shooting happened about 10:50 p.m. in the parking lot of a beauty supply business in the 2000 block of Telegraph Avenue, between 20th and 21st streets in the Uptown district.
Campbell, the 17-year-old and some other people with them had been at the event since about 9 p.m., Officer Jason Andersen said. Official First Friday events are scheduled to end at 10 p.m., but patrons often
Campbell's group got into a confrontation with another group of people in the parking lot, Andersen said.
"It's unclear what (the confrontation) was about, but it turned to gunfire," he said.
Campbell died at the scene. The 17-year-old was taken to a hospital, and the women went to another hospital. None of their wounds were life-threatening, and all were expected to be treated and released, police said.
No arrests have been made.
Social media posts on the event commented on the large crowd attending the monthly street festival, and many remained on an eight-block section of Telegraph Avenue that was closed to vehicles after the shooting. The event draws thousands of people to the Uptown district for art exhibits, live music and food trucks.
Volunteers with the First Friday organization said Saturday morning that the violence was a reminder that Oakland still has serious issues to confront.
Friday's event featured the debut of a kids' stage, meant to engage local youth with contests, dancing and other activities, according to volunteer Amber McZeal.
"We see First Friday as the opportunity to bring (youth) in and have them hyper-exposed to positive, transformative, engaging, fun activities that offer an alternative to the every day," she said. "If we're talking about (changing) a culture of violence, then creativity informs culture, always."
As the festival has grown, organizers have worked with the city on safety issues, Arnold said. The city underwrites the cost of police officers and private security guards who patrol the area, and organizers moved the end of the festival an hour earlier, he said.
"We've done everything we could to try to ensure a peaceful event," Arnold said. "This was already a concern for us before this even happened.
"It's really unfortunate because this event is something that really spotlights the positivity of Oakland. It was really starting to change the city's identity."
The shooting "brings things to a head" for organizers, Arnold said.
The festival started as an offshoot of the Oakland Art Murmur, where local galleries and studios opened to the public, but as the event grew, it moved away from that mission, and so the First Friday organization took over, said Art Murmur Executive Director Danielle Fox.
"We actually thought it was getting a little too crowded about a year ago, and so we stopped holding our little craft fair," Fox said. "In the long run, it's good for Oakland, and it's good for the economy, as long as it stays safe."