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3 Teens Killed in Oakland, Underscoring Gun Violence’s ‘Cumulative Trauma’

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The Oakland Police Department is investigating the deaths of three teenagers killed during two fatal shootings early Monday morning. (Alex Emslie/KQED)

Three teenagers were killed in Oakland during two fatal shootings early Monday morning, according to Oakland police officials.

The first shooting took place around 1:30 a.m. near 10th Street on Filbert Street. Police said that the victim, a 16-year-old boy, was declared dead on the scene.

Less than an hour later, officers responded to a second shooting on 102nd Avenue near International Boulevard, police said. Around 2 a.m., police located one of the victims, an 18-year-old from Antioch. He was assisted by paramedics and transported to a local hospital, where he was declared dead, according to a police spokesperson.

Police said they were notified that a second victim, a 17-year-old San Francisco resident, had arrived at a nearby hospital. He was pronounced dead after receiving treatment from hospital personnel. The names of the victims have not been released.

Joseph Griffin, the executive director of Youth Alive, a community-based violence prevention and intervention agency in Oakland, said that when young people are victims of gun violence, it has reverberating effects on their families and community.

“One of the things that we know from doing this work and from our own personal experiences is that mourning comes in waves,” Griffin said. “Making sure that we’re there for the families in [the] immediate, but also in the long term to create a community around them is really important.”

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Young people who are exposed to high rates of violence over an extended period of time also have increased risks for developing chronic physical health conditions, like diabetes, later in life, according to Griffin. Family members often face financial burdens as well as mental health challenges, he said.

Griffin told KQED that many of the people he works with in Oakland have or will experience more than one loss to gun violence in their lifetime. The three homicides on Monday brought the city’s total to 40 this year. In the same time period, San Francisco has reported 14 homicides, according to the San Francisco Police Department.

Griffin said exposure to violence can have a snowball effect.

“Having a history of violence in a community, where there’s trauma that’s passed down from generation to generation, it can make you more vulnerable to violence because the options become fewer,” Griffin said. “There’s cumulative trauma of having those folks who are in your life but are now gone too soon, folks who may have been part of your own support as a child.

“When you start to fracture a community like that, it has many long-term impacts.”

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