17-year-old Castlemont High student slain, sister wounded in shooting outside East Oakland home
By Harry Harris
Posted: 01/01/2011 08:47:11 AM PST
Updated: 01/01/2011 06:22:54 PM PST
OAKLAND -- In what one homicide detective denounced as "one of the most cowardly acts" he has ever investigated, a 17-year-old Castlemont High School student was killed and his older sister wounded Friday night outside their home by a gunman who opened fire moments after they put the woman's 5-month-old daughter into her car seat.
The infant was not hurt, nor were two other female relatives who were present, police said.
"It was a miracle no one else was hit," homicide Sgt. Gus Galindo said Saturday. "We could very easily have had four or five people killed."
Killed was Christopher Jones, who Galindo said was a churchgoing, music-loving, "good kid who never had been in trouble." His family told police he was a senior at Castlemont who got excellent grades.
Police did not release the name of his 24-year-old sister who was wounded in the foot or any of the other family members present.
The shooting happened about 6:30 p.m. New Year's Eve outside the family's home in the 7400 block of Fresno Street not far from Eastmont mall, a half-block from 73rd Avenue.
Galindo said Jones, his sister and the others were going to drive the infant to North Oakand to the her father's home for a visit after stopping for dinner.
They never made it.
Neighbors and loved ones tied balloons with "RIP Chris" and other messages printed on them to the gate outside Jones' home Saturday. Across the street, piles of broken window glass
marked the scene of the shooting.
Galindo said police do not have a motive for the attack and no arrests have been made.
"From what we've learned so far, it appears they were ambushed" just after putting the infant inside the car, he said. "There was no apparent warning and no indication of any argument or fight."
Jones died at 7 p.m. at a hospital. His sister was treated and released.
An angry Galindo said, "This is one of the most pathetic cases I've ever had."
"Anybody who does something like this does not deserve to be a free citizen," Galindo said. "They need to be locked up. What a terrible way to end the year."
The killing was Oakland's 95th homicide of 2010. There were 110 in 2009. The city's first homicide for 2011 would soon follow, when an 18-year-old Bay Point man was shot to death in East Oakland just nine minutes after midnight.