Suspected West Oakland gang member slain in East Oakland


OAKLAND — A reputed member of West Oakland’s Acorn drug gang died early Wednesday from gunshot wounds sustained Tuesday night in East Oakland, police said.

He was identified as Jonathan Gonzalez, 21, whose street name was “Redbone,” police said.

A 34-year-old man who said he was Gonzalez’s cousin was also wounded. His name was not released, and police were not sure if he lived in Oakland or Emeryville.

The shooting happened about 9:53 p.m. Tuesday at a housing project in the 1200 block of 65th Avenue.

The older man told police he and Gonzalez were walking back from a store when they were confronted by a man with a gun who began shooting at them. Both men were hit several times by gunfire.

Gonzalez died from his wounds at 2:29 a.m. Wednesday at Highland Hospital. The other man was in critical condition at a local hospital.

The survivor told police he did not know why the man shot them, nor what he and Gonzalez were doing in East Oakland.

One investigator said Gonzalez “may have got caught slippin,” a street term for someone who gets overconfident about their safety and is not as careful as they should be.

Police said Gonzalez has been seen lately in East Oakland and was arrested Aug. 1 in the 5900 block of Bromley Avenue — a few blocks from where he was fatally shot — on suspicion of selling drugs, but was not charged.

Police said numerous people witnessed the shooting, and at least 30 people were present when officers first arrived on the scene. However, so far no one has been willing to talk to police.

Sgt. Jim Rullamas said there could be several motives for the killing.

Police said there was not enough evidence to arrest Gonzalez in a police roundup of the Acorn gang June 17 that followed a two-month investigation focusing on drug dealing, shootings and other acts of violence linked to the group. More than 50 suspected members were jailed and are being prosecuted.

Police said Gonzalez had been shot at least once in the past and was suspected of but never charged in several gang-related shootings.

Police said Gonzalez was ambushed Jan. 31, 2006, by four suspected members of the Lower Bottoms gang, another violent West Oakland group, outside a store at 8th and Adeline streets.

Gonzalez was wounded in the arm, but one of the bullets killed Gamel Attayeb, 25, a San Leandro father of two who was about to go into the store. Police described Attayeb as “a totally innocent victim.”

The four arrested and charged in the shooting were all convicted earlier this year of counts ranging from first degree murder to second degree murder to voluntary manslaughter; all counts included gang enhancement clauses. The gunman got life in prison without parole, another man got 15 years to life, another 24 years and the fourth a 14-year sentence.

Gonzalez’s killing was Oakland’s 87th homicide of the year. Last year at this time, there were 85 homicides.

Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering up to $15,000 in reward money in the shooting. Anyone with information can call police at 510-238-3821 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572 or 510-777-3211.


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