20-Year-Old Sentenced for First Friday Shooting

OAKLAND — A 20-year-old man was sentenced today to 13 years in state prison for his role in a shooting at the end of a First Friday event in downtown Oakland in February 2013 that claimed the life of an 18-year-old high school student.

Donald Parks Jr. was not charged in connection with the death of his friend Kiante Campbell but instead faced six counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm for shooting at six other people and injuring three of them.

Parks was with Campbell at the time of the shooting in the 2000 block of Telegraph Avenue at about 10:50 p.m. on Feb. 1, 2013.

Parks recently reached an agreement with prosecutors in which he pleaded no contest to one count of assault plus an enhancement for using a gun.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Paul Delucchi sentenced Parks to three years for his assault conviction and 10 years for using a gun for a total term of 13 years in prison.

Parks told Oakland police in a taped statement that was played at his preliminary hearing last October that the shooting occurred after Campbell bumped into another man.

Parks said he and Campbell were planning to meet some women at 25th Street and Broadway but first walked through the area of the popular event, which draws thousands of people and is held on the first Friday of every month.

Parks said in his interview with police that a confrontation occurred after Campbell bumped into a man who was with a group of people, words were exchanged and the man said, “I’m going to kill somebody.”

Parks said Campbell pulled out a .22-caliber gun, “pointed a gun at his (the other man’s) face” and “was going to shoot the guy” but the gun jammed.

“Kiante pulled the trigger three times but it didn’t work,” Parks said.

He said he told Campbell, “Be cool, brother” but Campbell didn’t listen.

Parks said the other man, whom he described as “a light-skinned dude,” then shot at Campbell and him so he fired back at the man with a Glock 22 semi-automatic pistol and then took off running.

He said he and several other people who had been with Campbell and him got on a bus but they then realized that Campbell wasn’t with them.

Parks said when they went back to the scene, they discovered that Campbell had been killed and had a white sheet over him.

Parks admitted to police that he fired seven shots. He said he carried a gun that night “because you never know what might happen.”

Prosecutors said the man who shot and killed Campbell was never found but even if he’d been located, he likely wouldn’t have been charged because it appears that he acted in self-defense because Campbell started shooting first.

First Friday events have been taking place in downtown Oakland for about seven years and are an offshoot of Art Murmur, a gallery walk that occurs earlier on the same night.

The events include artists, musicians, performers, artisans, galleries, interactive art, pop-up venues, street vendors and food vendors.

The events have continued since the fatal shooting but in a smaller area.

(Copyright 2014, Bay City News, All rights reserved.)

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