OAKLAND -- A pair of West Oakland gang members were found guilty of a double murder and more than a half-dozen attempted murders Wednesday for a 2011 mass shooting at a Jack London Square bar.
It took the jury of nine women and three men about one day to find Clem Thompkins, 25, and Lamar Fox, 24, guilty of the 16 felony counts charged against them including gang enhancement allegations and a special circumstance enhancement for killing multiple people.
The pair showed no reaction as the verdict was read in the courtroom of Alameda County Superior Court Judge Vernon Nakahara. Both will be sent to prison for life without the possibility of parole when they are sentenced in February.
"Justice has been served," said Prince Wilson, father of Adam Williams Jr., one of two men killed. "It won't bring my son back, but it brings a sense of closure and justice to our family."
The shooting occurred just after midnight on April 25, 2011, when Fox got into an argument with a group of men standing at the front door of the now-defunct Sweet Jimmie's Bar and Restaurant. As Fox was exchanging words and shoves with the men, Thompkins walked up with an assault rifle and started firing into the bar.
Thompkins fired at least 10 shots killing Williams, 22, and Billy Jenkins, 26. Thompkins also shot five other revelers. The scene was described by many as a massacre and bloodbath.
Fox and Thompkins arrived at Sweet Jimmie's on a mission to find rival gang members. Fox and Thompkins belonged to a gang from the city's Lower Bottoms neighborhood and were searching for gang members who lived in the Acorn housing project.
The pair were looking for rivals after Fox had gotten into a verbal altercation near the bar earlier in the evening with a rival gang member during which the rival flashed a gun. Feeling disrespected, Fox and Thompkins decided to fight back and drove to Fox's house, where they retrieved the assault rifle.
When they returned to Jack London Square, Fox left the car and began searching for rivals as Thompkins sat in the car with the gun. At one point, Fox got into an argument with a group standing in front of Sweet Jimmie's, and Thompkins then decided to jump out of the car and start shooting.
None of the victims were gang members, and no evidence was presented that showed if any gang members were even at the bar.
Attorneys representing the Fox and Thompkins blamed each other's client for the shooting.
Darryl Billups, Thompkins' attorney, argued that Fox was the shooter and questioned the identification of his client by victims, saying they could not be trusted because of trauma the victims suffered.
"I'm disappointed," Billups said after the verdict.
Meanwhile, Fox's attorney, Deborah Levy, argued that her client should not be responsible for murder because he had no idea that Thompkins was going to starting "blasting" bullets into the bar.
"There's a difference between the guy who used the gun and the guy who didn't," Levy said. "It seems that just because Mr. Fox got into a verbal argument, he was found responsible for the crime."
But deputy district attorney Tim Wellman said that Fox is as responsible as Thompkins because Fox made the decision with Thompkins to hunt down rival gang members.
Both defendants worked together, Wellman said, in getting the gun, and both planned on using that gun to shoot people.
"These two defendants acted together and this would not have happened without both of them," Wellman said. "I'm pleased the jury held them accountable for what they did."