On Saturday, October 2, two Berkeley High School students were shot and killed at a party in North Oakland. The BHS community held a memorial at Longfellow Middle School on Monday night. Students have also visited the second floor C-Building gallery memorial during the past few days.
At the scene on Saturday, police officers found several people with gunshot wounds. According to the Oakland Police Department, the two students, despite being provided life-saving measures, died on scene. The two other wounded individuals were taken to a local hospital, and are in stable condition.
An online GoFundMe donation page has been created by family members. The fundraiser hopes to support the students’ mother, who is raising the remaining four children on her own. The fund has grown to a sum of over $100,000 in three days.
Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Enikia Ford Morthel wrote in a statement on October 2 to the community that the school district was grieving “beloved members of the BUSD family (who) lost their lives yesterday in a senseless act of gun violence.”
“When violence hits so close to home, it’s natural to want reassurance that you will be safe,” Ford Morthel wrote. “We are thinking about you, including how to care for you through this process. You may experience a range of emotions about this tragedy over the coming days. That is a normal response to this type of loss . … We at BUSD are here for you.”
Ford Morthel urged students to communicate their feelings and concerns to their parents or caregivers, and reach out to teachers, school counselors, and administrators. She added that district leadership would be available on campus on Monday for support, and that BHS will offer counseling services in the coming weeks.
According to an email from BHS Dean of Students Shaheen Mohammed, individual student support will be offered at counselors’ offices and the Health Center throughout the week. Students may find general student group spaces in H104 and the C2 gallery memorial, where a rotation of counselors will also be present.