Man Killed On Steps Of Venerable Oakland Church

| November 18, 2010

OAKLAND, Calif. — It was Oakland's 74th homicide of the year, but a fatal shooting Tuesday morning marked the first time in the 90-year history of Allen Temple Baptist Church that someone has been killed on the church's property.

The shooting happened at 85th and International as church leaders prepared to announce a new effort to prevent street violence.

The 46-year-old victim had recently enrolled in Allen Temple Baptist Church's reentry program.

Sources told KTVU the shooting victim was released from prison about a month ago. Church leaders said he was trying to earn his GED to turn his life around only to have it taken from him.

Rev. Daniel Buford of Allen Temple said the church property was holy ground that the killing desecrated.

Church leaders told KTVU the shooting disrespected both human life and the outreach work that the church offers to troubled men and women in the community.

Religious leaders said seeing the man's lifeless body at the foot of the cross confirmed the need for the many programs the church has been offering for decades.

“Today’s incident speaks volumes to the fact that we're going to continue to do what we're doing and making a positive impact on the community," said the church’s Dr. Barbara Bowman.

Church leaders said the man was among the hundreds of people they help each year.

On Wednesday, the church plans to announce that it has received a private grant for nearly half a million dollars to fund programs designed to combat violence.

"In the middle of all this bloodshed, we're convinced that life can grow," said Rev. Buford.

Church leaders said they were heartbroken over the death of this man who they were trying to help, but also said the incident affirms their commitment to helping those who need it most.

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Category: Church Security

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