OAKLAND -- Oakland's soaring homicide rate earned the city a dubious honor Monday -- a ranking among the nation's most dangerous cities in America.
The Kansas-based Morgan Quitno Press for 13 years has ranked American cities and metropolitan areas depending on their rate of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft. Police departments report such statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which releases them publicly each year.
Using 2005 figures, Oakland was ranked the eighth-most dangerous city in America, and only two other cities showed worse increases in crime over last year. The San Francisco Bay Area city of Richmond ranked 11th on the so-called "Most Dangerous 25."
The only other California city to rank worse than Oakland was the Los Angeles County city of Compton, ranked fourth worst in the nation overall, behind St. Louis, Mo., Detroit, Mich., and Flint, Mich.
Six California cities-Mission Viejo, Irvine, Thousand Oaks, Lake Forest, Simi Valley, and Chino Hills--were rated in the "Safest 25" nationwide. No Bay Area or Northern California cities made that list, which was topped by Brick Township. N.J.
However, when the survey compared only larger cities exceeding 500,000 residents, San Jose was ranked tops in the nation for safety.
The Quitno survey also compared metropolitan areas nationwide, with California locales appearing only on the "Most Dangerous" list, including the Stockton metro area, considered the nation's eighth-most dangerous; the Oakland-Fremont metro area, ranked 19th most dangerous, and the Modesto area, ranked 23rd most dangerous. The safest metro area in the nation was Fond du Lac, Wisc.
The survey also issued state rankings. Bay Area cities in the state's safest 25 included Sunnyvale, 10th; Livermore, 14th; Fremont, 15th; Vacaville, 16th; Tracy, 17th; Santa Clara, 20th, Daly City, 21st; and Napa, 22nd.
Bay Area cities in California's most dangerous 25 included Oakland, 2nd; Richmond, 3rd; San Francisco, 9th; San Leandro, 18th; Berkeley, 21st; Hayward, 22nd; and Antioch, 25th.
The survey cam out following another violent weekend in Oakland which left four people dead and five wounded. The death toll in Oakland has now climbed to close to 130 so far this year with a little over two months remaining.
Oakland authorities were offering up to $35,000 in reward money after two people were killed and three others wounded in an attack on a dice game Saturday night.
Police say someone with an assault rifle opened fire on the group gathered on the 5600 block of Foothill Boulevard a little before midnight Saturday.
Two 28-year-old men were killed. The three victims who were wounded -- two men and one woman -- were hospitalized in stable condition.
Police don't know why the group was fired on.
The shooting followed a Friday night that saw two separate fatal shootings reported within 15 minutes of each other, Officer Jay Moore reported.
Authorities said Erick Torres was shot to death and a 17-year-old boy wounded in a shooting about 8:30 p.m. Friday on the 900 block of 105th Avenue near the city's border with San Leandro.
Sgt. Rick Andreotti said told the Oakland Tribune that Torres used to live a few blocks away from an area that locals call "Stone City." But his family recently moved to San Leandro, apparently to get away from the violence.
Torres, whose friends called him "White Mike," returned to the neighborhood Friday night to hang out, said Andreotti.
Meanwhile, police believe a man found dead on an Oakland street early Saturday morning from a gunshot wound may have accidentally shot himself while robbing a Pinole liquor store.
The body of Sharffeequa Williams, 24, was found on the 1600 block of 12th Street after he apparently bled to death from a wound to his femoral artery.
During the holdup of Appian Liquors, Williams initially placed the handgun on the counter so he could grab cash from the register, Oakland police detective Sgt. Phil Green said.
But as Williams placed the gun back into his waistband, he squeezed the trigger and shot himself, Green said. The shooting was caught on security footage.