2 Berkeley High School students killed | Media Pyro


Two Berkeley High School students were killed and two others wounded in a weekend shooting in Oakland’s Longfellow neighborhood on the city’s north end near Emeryville, authorities said.

Saturday’s fatal shooting and another in East Oakland on Sunday come amid a wave of violence in the city that has shaken residents and political leaders. Last week, six adults, including two students, were shot and wounded in a broad daylight attack at Rudsdale High School.

“We are deeply saddened to learn that two Berkeley High School students and beloved members of the BUSD family lost their lives to gun violence yesterday,” Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Enikia Ford Mortel said in a statement. Sunday afternoon.

“Our hearts go out to their families and everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Officials did not immediately release the names of the two students who were killed.

The superintendent said the high school plans to provide “comprehensive counseling services” for students on the high school campus Monday.

A GoFundMe account identified the shooting victims as brothers Angel Sotelo, 15, and Jacie Sotelo, 17.

A fundraising page organized by Erika Galavis, who identified herself as an aunt, described Jaci as a “funny and smart young man who naturally tended to take on the role of protector”. According to the page, Angel was a “gentle soul” who was “always up for a good time.”

According to the Oakland Police Department, officers from Oakland and Emeryville responded to the 950 block of Apgar Street just before 10 p.m. and found two victims with fatal gunshot wounds.

“Officers attempted life-saving measures for the two victims, but unfortunately they died at the scene,” said Officer Darryl Rogers.

Two other injured people were admitted to hospital and were in stable condition on Sunday morning, he said. No arrests were immediately announced.

A woman who identified herself as Liz and said she was visiting a neighbor told The Chronicle on Sunday that she was watching a movie with her boyfriend Saturday evening when she heard laughter and music coming from a nearby backyard.

More than an hour later, she heard a noise “like a firecracker” coming from the house, followed by silence.

Liz looked out the window and saw a man lying in the driveway of the house. She ran outside and asked the victim, whom she described as a teenager, if he was okay.

“He said, ‘Help me, I’ve been shot,'” Liz said.

Seeing the victim’s leg bleeding, Liz unbuckled her belt and, recalling a first aid class she had taken, wrapped a makeshift tourniquet over the victim’s injury.

Liz waited with the victim until first responders arrived to administer care and take him to a local hospital. They said the Sunday afternoon incident was “still being processed.”

“I helped him as I hope everyone would,” she said.

Neighbor Janet Yarnell, who lives and manages an apartment complex near the scene of the shooting, heard what sounded like gunfire Saturday evening while watching television with her husband. Yarnell looked out the window where she could partially see the scene.

“It looked like kids were running,” Yarnall told The Chronicle on Sunday. “I didn’t think much of it.”

Yarnell didn’t realize the severity of the incident until the police arrived a few minutes later.

“I thought they were just kids playing,” she said. “This neighborhood is very quiet.”

The family’s last communication with the boys was a text message Jaci sent to his mother asking to be picked up from what Galavis described as a “little get-together” to celebrate a classmate’s birthday. But within minutes, Galavis said, the mother received several phone calls from other parents about the shooting.

News of the shooting sparked a search for the brothers, Galavis said, during which family members flagged down a police cruiser to request information and called hospitals to find out if they had been admitted.

Police officers initially told the family that “everyone was alive” before pronouncing the brothers dead at the scene, Galavis said in an interview Sunday evening. “They never made it to the hospital.”

The boys’ 13-year-old brother was also at the party and escaped unhurt.

The family does not know what motivated the shooting or whether Angel and Jaci were targeted, Galavis said.

Galavis described Jaci, 17, as a “funny and smart young man who naturally tended to take on the role of protector.” He wanted to move to Los Angeles to work in the fashion industry, she said.

According to Galavis, Angel was a “gentle soul” who was “always up for a fun time.” An artist who loved to draw, the 15-year-old wanted to be an architect, his aunt said.

“They played football all their childhood — that was their hobby,” Galavis said. “They were good kids. Their mother let them go out because they never caused any trouble.

The family plans to hold a vigil Monday at Longfellow Middle School, where both brothers attended.

On Sunday, workers in rubber suits mopped up blood from the sidewalk outside the apartment complex. Nearby, crime tape rustled in the wind, and a single parked police car stood guard at the scene.

The 950 block of Apgar Street is a mix of one- and two-story homes and several multifamily properties just east of San Pablo Avenue and north of West MacArthur Boulevard.

Council member Dan Kalb, who represents the area, called the shooting “tragic and sad.”

“I am saddened and angry that this shooting and so many others around the city happened last summer and now this fall,” Kalb said in an interview Sunday. “We need to reduce these shootings.”

The shooting was the latest wave of gun violence in Oakland, which has seen homicides rise since the start of the pandemic.

As the Longfellow shooting unfolds, police are still trying to find the gunmen who shot and wounded six people Wednesday at Rudsdale High School in the Eastmont Hills neighborhood.

At least two shooters entered the King Estates campus, where Ruddsdale High is located, around 12:45 p.m. and fired more than 30 shots, police said.

As of Sept. 25, the city had reported 93 homicides this year, compared with 92 in the same period in 2021 and 69 in 2020. Police officials said 1,199 guns were seized in 2021.

San Francisco Chronicle staff writers Demian Bulva and Greg Griffin contributed to this report.

Nora Mishanek is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: nora.mishanec@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @NMishanec


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