17-year-old girl killed attending memorial service for drowned boys in Oakland
A 17-year-old girl lost her life in the crossfire of bullets, while mourning the death of two other teens.
Reggina Jefferies was one of many young people who attended a memorial service in Oakland for two teenage boys who drowned over Memorial Day weekend.
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Thousands turned out to mourn the loss of two boys, Josiah Pratt Rose, 15, and Jamari Wilson,16, who drowned when they jumped off a boat in a reservoir to go swimming without life jackets on.
Reggina offered a praise and worship dance in their memory at the service. She would be dead only hours later.
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Witnesses say because of the large crowd at the memorial service, many of the people spilled out of the venue into the streets. A fight reportedly broke out in the street just before multiple men began shooting into the crowd. One witness said a group of men had been playing dice and attendees at the memorial service had simply gotten caught in the crossfire.
“For about five minutes they were dancing and having fun, all of a sudden there were just gunshots,” witness Hamit Elbgal told ABC7.
“I heard several shots, probably six in a row,” Joyce Mitch told NBC Bay Area. “Then I saw a bunch of kids running.”
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Jefferies along with two other victims, believed to be in their 20s, were shot and taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland.
She was the only victim who died.
Oakland’s notoriously high homicide rate appeared to be on the decline earlier this year. According to police, this is the 26th homicide this year.
While police look for the shooters, Reggina Jeffries’ death has further shaken the community, leaving people to #PrayForOakland and wonder when the memorial hashtags will end.