Teen charged in slaying near Oakland gang apartments

By Henry K. Lee (SF Chronicle)
September 30, 2009

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A 15-year-old boy has been charged with murder in the slaying of another teenager near a troubled Oakland apartment complex, authorities said Tuesday.

The suspect, whose name was withheld because of his age, was charged Monday with murder, assault with a deadly weapon and a gun enhancement in the slaying earlier this month of 15-year-old Erik Monrroy, said Scott Swisher, an Alameda County deputy district attorney.

The suspect’s case is being heard in Juvenile Court, and prosecutors have not decided whether to try him as an adult, Swisher said.

Erik was sitting on a porch with friends when the gunman opened fire outside 2515 Foothill Blvd. shortly after midnight Sept. 2, Swisher said. The slaying happened in a neighborhood where two buildings had recently been condemned because of code violations and fears of imminent gang activity, and police suspect that Erik and his killer were members of rival gangs.

City officials condemned the graffiti-ridden Amber Tree Gardens apartment complex at 2555 and 2567 Foothill Blvd. on Aug. 25. The nearly 200 tenants were told to vacate the property. Those who had nowhere else to go were bused to an East Oakland recreation center and given hotel vouchers.

The action came a week after police noticed that nearby buildings were covered with gang graffiti and that gang members had punched holes through the walls of the complex as an escape route, apparently girding for a possible attack, authorities said. Rival gang members then sprayed over the graffiti, police said.

During a viewing for Monrroy at the Colonial Chapel funeral home on High Street on Sept. 10, some mourners fired shots at a pickup truck that was circling around the area, police said. No one was wounded, and two people were arrested.

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