Outrage after Asian dentist slain in Oakland’s “Little Saigon” section
Surveillance video obtained by CBS Bay Area shows the brazen daylight attempted robbery of an Asian woman in Oakland’s Little Saigon section Sunday that ended with the victim being fatally shot, the station reports.
Oakland police found her with multiple gunshot wounds. She was rushed to a hospital where she died.
Later, area residents expressed anger and frustration.
CBS Bay Area confirmed her identity as 56-year-old Lili Xu, a beloved dentist.
Police are still looking for the suspect or suspects involved.
CBS Bay Area obtained surveillance video Monday showing the incident and vehicle involved. The clip, from a camera at a residence across the street, shows a dark Mercedes Benz sedan. The other vehicle, an older white model four-door Lexus, pulls up alongside the victim’s parked car.
WARNING: THIS VIDEO IS DISTURBING:
A suspect is seen getting out of the white vehicle and going around the Mercedes to the passenger side, where a suspect apparently demanded the victim’s purse. Screams of protest followed by the sound of three gunshots can be heard in the audio from the clip before the suspect gets back in the white car and that vehicle flees.
The video also revealed that the white vehicle was parked a short distance away waiting for 30-45 minutes before the attempted robbery.
The shooting was Oakland’s 77th homicide of the year.
Angry and fearful community members called out city leaders for a lack of action during a Monday afternoon rally outside Oakland City Hall.
They also mourned Xu.
“She think about everyone, my birthday, everyone’s birthday,” friend Guosong Liu told CBS Bay Area.
Patients quickly became friends with Xu, who was a pillar in the community, CBS Bay Area said.
“She was a very devoted doctor here in Oakland Chinatown,” said community activist and Oakland’s Chinatown Chamber of Commerce President Carl Chan. “Well loved by her patients. In fact, her staff said so many good things about her that they stayed with her for so many years.”
At the rally, residents felt compelled to grab the microphone and share their feelings of frustration and fear.
One man said through a translator that as an elder it is “unacceptable and unbelievable that their hard-earned property, all their work they put in to raise their family, to take care of their family, is being robbed.”
“One of the ways to address this kind of crime is to have a presence in the neighborhood,” said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.
“This is not just been happening for a few months,” said Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas. “It’s been happening for a few decades and we know that type of targeting of our community has to stop because we’ve had enough.”
But some community members interrupted elected leaders to say they their response to crime isn’t working.
“We see the politicians, we need everyone to play their part and do their work. But it’s the same thing. It’s a lot of empty promises,” one resident said.
Those who knew doctor Xu worry that any one of them could be next.
“We as a community, today it is her. Tomorrow it could be me,” said Liu.
Bas released a statement Sunday evening calling for justice.
“I am outraged and sickened over the senseless, brutal slaying of an elderly AAPI woman in broad daylight this afternoon in Oakland’s Little Saigon,” Bas said. “There was an attempted robbery in the middle of the afternoon, she was shot and killed.”
“People who perpetrate these violent crimes must be held accountable and brought to justice,” Bas said. “What does it say about our community when we cannot walk down our own street, visit a neighbor, or enjoy a picnic on the lake on a Sunday afternoon? We can and must do better. NO ONE should presume they can come into Oakland at any time and commit a violent crime without repercussions.”
Bas said she was “sending love, condolences and support to the family of this victim. Please know that we share your grief, shock and loss and will do whatever it takes to identify those responsible to achieve justice for your family.”
The Little Saigon District has been suffering disproportionately from crime, Bas said.
Seven Little Saigon businesses sustained serious losses Aug. 1 in burglaries, according to police. After that, police deployed a liaison officer to the district.