In the wake of a weekend fatal shooting that shocked the city’s Asian community, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said the crime “is not who Oakland is” when he briefed reporters this week.
Oakland dentist Lili Xu, 60, was shot just after 2 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of Fifth Avenue as she was getting out of a car, police and City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas’ office said.
Police said Xu struggled to hang on to her valuables as the offender accosted her, then shots were fired, Armstrong said.
“We had another devastating day,” Armstrong said.
Two people lost their lives Sunday. The other was a man officers found on 90th Avenue suffering from blunt force trauma. They were the 76th and 77th slayings in Oakland this year.
Last year at this time, 81 people had died in Oakland killings.
Police did not have enough information to say whether Xu’s slaying was a hate crime, Armstrong said.
Xu’s vehicle pulled into the 1100 block of Fifth Avenue when a white, older model Lexus pulled up alongside, the chief said. A suspect approached the passenger side of the car Xu was in as she was getting out, Armstrong said. That is when multiple rounds were fired, the chief said.
Xu died at a hospital. Police posted a surveillance video of the fatal attack on the department’s Facebook page.
Addressing crime in Little Saigon
Armstrong said that police have run many operations in the Little Saigon area. Additional officers were four or five blocks away when the shooting occurred, Armstrong said.
In those operations, police have made several key arrests, recovered guns and are addressing human trafficking in the area.
Armstrong believes there were witnesses to Sunday’s shooting and that police will identify those responsible for Xu’s death.
A white, four-door Tesla was seen in the area and police are asking for someone in that vehicle to please talk to police about what they saw. The Tesla was on Fifth Avenue traveling toward Interstate 880 about 2 p.m. The Tesla had a distinctive roof rack and a bike rack on its tail.
“This crime was senseless,” Armstrong said.
He said the department is adding more officers because “preventing crime is also about having resources to deter crime.”
The department currently has 685 officers, which is the highest number all year. The department graduated 30 officers Friday and started a new academy Monday. The department expects to graduate another 25 officers in October, Armstrong said.
Anyone with information about Xu’s killing is asked to call police at 510-238-3641.