Oakland closes year at 113 killings

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The number of homicides in Oakland in 2002 rose to 113 at the close of the year, a stunning 33 percent increase in killings from the previous year.

The final two killings occurred at a pharmacy late Sunday night. Police are investigating the possibility that Dr. Eddie Tyrone Deweaver, who worked at the pharmacy, and Revlon Scoggins, a connived drug offender, shot each other.

Also in the final week of the year, Oakland saw its youngest homicide victim of 2002, a 14-year-old boy who was killed when a man on the street shot several bullets through the door of an apartment during a party. A 24-year-old man also died from that shooting, which is still being investigated.

The city has struggled to stem the rise in homicides, sending more beat officers into hot spots, dedicating two officers to monitoring people on probation or parole and offering rewards for tips on gun crimes.

It also asked voters in November to approve a plan to put 100 additional officers on the street. Though they approved the plan, voters rejected a proposal to fund it.

From 1986 to 1995, Oakland averaged 138 killings a year. The city had 85 homicides in 2001, its fourth-lowest total in 30 years.

A message left for a spokesman for the police department was not returned Wednesday.


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