Left to right: OPD acting Chief Darren Allison, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, and D6 Councilmember Kevin Jenkins at a press conference Tuesday addressing a mass shooting that occurred in East Oakland on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. Credit: Ashley McBride

This story was updated at 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023

A shootout involving multiple gunmen in Oakland early on Monday evening resulted in the death of one person and injuries to seven others, according to the Oakland Police Department.

According to news reports on Tuesday morning, family members at Highland Hospital identified the man who died as 18-year-old Mario Navarro, and witnesses to the shooting said the incident occurred during the filming of a music video.

The incident occurred just before 6 p.m. at the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and Seminary Avenue in East Oakland. Businesses in the immediate area include a Valero gas station, Mill’s Hoagie and Deli Shop, and Loard’s Ice Cream. The location sits just east of the Mills College at Northeastern University campus.

Related: ‘A nice place’ where gun violence is too common, neighbors say after East Oakland mass shooting

Oakland police arrived after being alerted to the gunfire and found bullet casings but no victims at the scene. Shortly afterward, the police were contacted by local hospitals who confirmed that eight victims with gunshot wounds had admitted themselves for care. The seven other victims were reported to be in stable condition as of last night, according to an OPD statement made at the scene on Monday.

During a press conference at Oakland City Hall on Tuesday, OPD’s acting Police Chief Darren Allison confirmed that the gunfire broke out while a group was recording a music video. About 40 to 50 people were gathered at the location on the 5900 block of MacArthur Boulevard, Allison said. 

Police stated that multiple shooters were involved, but didn’t specify how many. Authorities suspect that the incident could be related to gang or group violence.

“The biggest threat to us right now is retaliatory shootings—the groups going back and forth, and we continue to see violence that will stem from this particular incident,” said OPD Captain Tony Jones, who leads the department’s Ceasefire unit, which seeks to interrupt gang violence in Oakland. “Our plan will be laser-focused on the specific people or specific groups that were involved in this particular incident last night.”

Five people were shot, including Navarro, who was killed. The other victims ranged in age from 15 to 63 years old, Allison said. Three more people were injured after a car crashed while fleeing the scene, injuring the driver and two passengers. Another vehicle was struck by stray bullets as a driver was leaving the scene, but the driver was not hit. One person is still in the hospital. 

The shooting happened while OPD Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong is on administrative leave, following a report that he didn’t hold officers accountable for misconduct. Mayor Sheng Thao declined to state during the press conference Tuesday whether she would consider reinstating Armstrong following reports that the NAACP and other groups are asking that he be given his job back.

“I have not seen a request from the NAACP,” Thao said Tuesday. “At the end of the day, that’s a personnel matter and we’re going to leave it at that.” 

Monday’s shooting was the third mass shooting in the last week in California. Hours earlier in Half Moon Bay, a man allegedly shot and killed seven others—one day after a man in Monterey Park, California, opened fire during a Lunar New Year celebration, killing 11 people.

“This problem isn’t unique to our state, but it is unique to our nation,” Thao said. “This has to end. We must deal with the proliferation of guns on our streets at every single level of government.”

The number of homicides in Oakland has risen and remained high during the pandemic, after several years of declines. Oakland police reported 118 homicides last year. According to OPD crime reports, there were 5 killings so far in 2023 as of Sunday, Jan. 22.

Ashley McBride writes about education equity for The Oaklandside. Her work covers Oakland’s public district and charter schools. Before joining The Oaklandside in 2020, Ashley was a reporter for the San Antonio Express-News and the San Francisco Chronicle as a Hearst Journalism Fellow, and has held positions at the Poynter Institute and the Palm Beach Post. Ashley earned her master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University.

Jacob Simas is the Community Journalism Director at Cityside and Managing Editor of The Oaklandside. He joined us from Univision, where he led social-impact initiatives and established the Rise Up: Be Heard journalism training program at Fusion for young people and community organizers in underserved areas of California. He was a senior editor and director of youth and community media at New America Media, where he led a community news network that amplified student and youth reporting in California news deserts. He is an advisory board member for Youth Beat, a graduate of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and a former producer with KPFA's First Voice apprenticeship program.