Oakland, CA (KPIX) — It’s not unusual for the Garcia family to hear celebratory gunfire and illegal fireworks on a daily basis at their Oakland home. But this past week, the disturbance came dangerously close.
When 14-year-old Aisha Garcia woke up Friday morning, she found pieces of the ceiling on her bedroom floor.
When her mother found a bullet in her daughter’s doorway, the family realized what had happened.
“It’s kind of scary to think about because I could have been dead, if it like came through a different angle,” said Aisha.
When the bullet flew through her ceiling the night before, she thought it was the sound of an AirPod falling to the ground.
“I am very furious actually. Number one, because this is a very irresponsible act, from whoever is doing it, because your celebration can be somebody else’s funeral,” said Aisha’s father Amilcar Garcia. “This is a very high traffic area. She comes in and out that door.”
Since the discovery, Aisha is no longer sleeping in her bedroom. Unfortunately, she has gotten used to the sound of gunfire.
“It’s normal at this point, I guess, it just doesn’t really make me feel that safe,” she said.
The problem of illegal fireworks and gunfire has worsened recently, according to her mother, Nicole Garcia.
“Fireworks and gunshots have been going off for months now, since the pandemic basically started and it’s only going to get worse as this evening,” she said.
The stray bullet is actually the fourth the family has found in and around their home in the last year. Another one is still lodged in their roof.
“We have additional staffing, additional resources from West Oakland to East Oakland. One of the things that we’re focusing on is the celebratory gunfire. It’s extremely dangerous. We know that we’ve had injury, even death in the past,” said Officer Johnna Watson, spokesperson for the Oakland Police Department.
The Oakland Police Department says it’s relying on surveillance cameras and gunshot detection technology called ShotSpotter.
“That particular technology not only is an instant notification and alert to our dispatch center, but also to our officers in the car. It comes across their computer, it’s real time data reporting,” said Watson.
The Oakland Fire Department is also warning against large gatherings and drivers blocking space for emergency responders.
“We are very concerned that any firework activity or any brush fire that starts from a barbecue or power tool could start a fire,” said Oakland Fire Department spokesperson Michael Hunt.