Oakland man charged in mass shooting at sideshow that followed Juneteenth celebration

Oakland man charged in mass shooting at sideshow that followed Juneteenth celebration

OAKLAND — One of the 14 people wounded in a mass shooting near Lake Merritt last month was charged Tuesday after authorities say he was among the gunmen in a shootout that left a large crowd of people scrambling for safety, court records show.

JaJuan Kelly, 23, of Oakland, was charged with four felony counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm in the June 19 shooting, according to court documents. He was transferred to Santa Rita Jail on Monday from a hospital where he had been recovering from his wounds. He is being held in lieu of $1,630,000 bail.

It is still unclear whether he actually hit anyone in the shooting on June 19. He also was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person.

Kelly was identified as one of the suspected shooters through video and other evidence, authorities said.

According to court records, he and several other people were at Lake Merritt, which had been the site of a peaceful Juneteenth celebration, when they spotted another group of people walking nearby. A shootout ensued, leaving 14 people wounded, the records say.

Kelly was critically injured after being shot in the back of his left thigh, as well as one of his shins, court records show. After the shooting stopped, a “hostile” group of people gathered around Kelly — preventing officers from contacting him and other people shot, police said.

When he later spoke to investigators, Kelly said that he shot at the other group because they “looked suspicious to him,” the court documents said. There were at least three other people in Kelly’s group, authorities said.

Kelly was on probation for second-degree robbery at the time, and he has a prior conviction for possession of an assault weapon, records show.

Police are still trying to identify all of the shooters.

The gunfire erupted about 8:45 p.m. June 19 in the 400 block of Grand Avenue. Police found about 50 shell casings scattered at the scene.

The violence happened after a peaceful day that saw some 5,000 people celebrating the federal holiday of Juneteenth around Lake Merritt. About 2,000 people were still in the area when the bullets started flying, court records say. Just before the shooting, fights broke out among numerous people watching a sideshow involving some 20 vehicles, including dirt bikes and ATVs, police said.

Some shooting victims, including Kelly, were taken from the scene to hospitals by ambulance. Others got their own transportation to hospitals.

Police originally said 15 people had been shot, but changed that to 14 when it was determined that a man wounded in what turned out to be another shooting in East Oakland was not shot on Grand Avenue.

Police are continuing to investigate the shooting and are trying to identify other possible suspects.

The shooting appears to be the largest mass shooting in the city’s history.

About The Author


Juneteenth Today: Your Online Hub for the Latest News and Insights on Juneteenth

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No comments to show.