OAKLAND -- On Tuesday night, when six people were wounded by gunshots fired at an East Oakland intersection, Alexis Valladares was sitting at his desk listening to music. Two bullets flew through his front bedroom windows and lodged in a wall and a door.
He said Wednesday he is thankful the shooting didn't happen later, when he would have been in bed, and likely would have been struck. No one in his house, including his mother and 11-year-old sister, were wounded, the 16-year-old Castlemont High School junior said.
"We were all very lucky,'' Alexis said, pointing out the two bullet holes in his front bedroom windows.
An unknown number of gunmen opened fire on a group of men standing at 89th Avenue and D Street at 9:38 p.m. Tuesday, wounding five of them. A 19-year-old Oakland man was in critical condition with chest wounds. A stray bullet also hit in the back a 49-year-old father, who was in his bedroom watching television in a nearby residence. He is expected to recover, police said.
Alexis said the gunfire, uncommon in the neighborhood where he and his family have lived for more than 15 years, sounded like "a whole bunch of fireworks."
"I threw myself to the ground and ran out of my room. As soon as everything quieted down, we saw everyone running," he said.
The 49-year-old man who was shot is at a hospital, and no one was at his home Wednesday afternoon. His wife and child, who were in the home at the time of the shooting, were not injured.
"I hope he is OK. He's our neighbor. We've known him for a while. We're close,'' Alexis said.
Blood was spattered along two black, wrought-iron fences on either side of 89th Avenue, glass was shattered in the street and at least two bullet holes were in the side of Alexis' home.
Investigators said Wednesday they are still trying to establish a motive, but said the neighborhood is known for drug dealing and the shooting could be related to the drug trade.
Officers Cliff Bunn and Rob Rosin said at least two gunmen opened fire without warning at the group of men standing near the intersection. Also wounded were a 19-year-old Fremont man, two men, ages 20 and 21, both from Oakland, and a 23-year-old man who said he was from Stockton. None of their wounds were believed to be life-threatening, police said.
Tuesday night's shooting occurred in Oakland Police Beat 33X, which is soon to become the focus of Mayor Jean Quan's crime reduction and rejuvenation plan. Bounded by International Boulevard, San Leandro Street, and 81st and 98th avenues, the beat area has a high level of violence. Five homicides were committed in the area last year.
Quan promised in her inaugural speech Monday to focus on the area because of high crime and dropout rates. She is going door to door in the area this weekend to recruit volunteers for a community cleanup on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend this month, and to let residents know about the first meeting of the rejuvenated Beat 33X Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council meeting Jan. 26.
"It's going to take the community and the police to turn around crime in this city and this is a perfect example of how we're going to do it," said Sue Piper, Quan's spokeswoman. "We've got to make our communities safer and feel safer."
Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering as much as $30,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest of the gunmen involved in Tuesday night's shooting. Anyone with information should call police at 510-238-3426 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572 or 510-777-3211.
Staff writer Cecily Burt contributed to this report.