Five shots at Oakland Coliseum during A’s post-match fireworks display

Five people were hit by stray bullets during a Fourth of July fireworks display at the Oakland Coliseum, in what police say was a burst of “celebratory” gunfire from somewhere outside the ballpark.

Three fans were treated Monday night for injuries caused by bullet fragments after people gathered on the pitch for fireworks after the game. The gunshot started about 9:30 p.m., officers said.

A fourth victim later walked into a local hospital and on Tuesday a fifth victim called police. Police have released few details about the victims, other than none of the wounds were life-threatening. The youngest victim was 12, a law enforcement source said.

An initial ballistics analysis showed that at least some of the bullet fragments came from a high-powered rifle, Chief LeRonne Armstrong told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday.

The gunfire came at a joyous moment for A’s fans, following the team’s thrilling 5-1 defeat to the Toronto Blue Jays Monday night, which drew 24,403 fans. It also capped off a turbulent holiday weekend in Oakland, in which the city witnessed three homicides, including a homicide-suicide in the Adams Point neighborhood, Armstrong said.

By Tuesday, Oakland had registered 55 homicides this year, plus two other homicides. While stray bullet injuries haven’t occurred at previous Colosseum fireworks displays, the raucous gunfire on July 4 is a long-standing problem, Armstrong said.

“When a bullet is fired into the air, at some point that bullet will come down,” and fall at a slower rate than when it was shot, though it’s still a powerful projectile, Armstrong said.

“This is why we are warning people not to shoot guns indiscriminately in the community,” he said.

Officers searched the Coliseum and they believe the bullets were fired outside the site — possibly as much as a mile away — given the number of calls they received that night about gunfire in the area.

Over the weekend also shook several shootings in Oakland, in which a 3-year-old was seriously injured. Police are investigating a relative of the child in that case, Armstrong said.

John Jones III, an Oakland violence prevention officer who attended the game with his son, said guards temporarily blocked a ramp to the pedestrian walkway to the Coliseum BART station, creating a bottleneck as fans left the venue. The guards cleared the way after about 10 minutes, Jones said. He saw no police and said no one had told the crowd that the shooting had taken place.

“It wasn’t a shooting scene,” said Jones, who has witnessed the aftermath of many violent incidents in Oakland. Three other attendees interviewed by The Chronicle said they saw nothing out of the ordinary except an abundance of rogue fireworks.

Police offered a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with tips can call the felony assault unit at 510-238-3426. In the release, the department pledged to work closely with A-security to ensure the safety of everyone attending future games.

A’s manager Mark Kotsay, who addressed reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays, urged fans not to be alarmed and said he thinks the Coliseum is “a safe environment”.

On July 4, “people tend to do things that are out of the ordinary,” Kotsay said, adding that “it’s a real shame” to see such recklessness near the Colosseum.

Chronicler Matthew Kawahara contributed to this report.

Rachel Swan is a writer of the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @rachelswan

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