Girl Shot During Sleepover at Her Best Friend’s House

Shootings Soar in Oakland; Children Often the Victims:” this was the headline of an article from the January 7, 2012 New York Times about an upsurge in shooting incidents in the East Bay city in 2011. The same troubling headline could have been used last week.

Last Wednesday, 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine was at a sleepover at her best friend Amara’s house when someone came to the door. The two girls and Amara’s younger brother, Antoine, rushed to open it and were hit by a spray of bullets. 7-year-old Amara was shot in the shoulder, 4-year-old Antoine was grazed in the stomach and their grandmother was also wounded. But Alaysha was killed by the gunfire from the unknown shooter. Of the seven children shot to death in Oakland this year, she is the youngest.

Brea Colbert, Amara’s and Antoine’s mother, was at her job at Oakland Children’s Hospital when the gunfire occurred. She tells KTVU that she does not know why her house was targeted and that she and her family are too terrified to return home. Alaysha’s mother, Chiquita Carradine, was on a business trip to Washington, D.C., when she got the call that her daughter, whose nickname was “Ladybug,” had been killed.

Alaysha had just finished second grade and was a familiar presence in her neighborhood in Oakland’s “normally quiet” Dimond district. Her stepfather, Jesse Fowler, said she was a “phenomenal” reader and “a breath of fresh air, one of the most smart, fun-loving, spunky kids you’d ever meet. Somebody that loves to help people, somebody that everybody loved, and everybody loved to be around her.” He wonders if the shooter had meant to go to a different house.

“I just want to get justice for her death. I don’t feel like the person who just took her life should be able to roam the streets and be free when I don’t get to spend any more days with my baby,” Carradine said to KTVU about Alaysha.

Neighbors have created an impromptu memorial of balloons, flowers and teddy bears for Alaysha. One neighbor whose grandchildren played with the two wounded children expressed little faith in Oakland’s beleaguered and understaffed police force to solve the crime. The Oakland police said that, while they have “some leads” and are offering a $35,000 reward for information on it, they have neither a description of the killer nor a motive for the shooting.

It goes without saying that Alaysha’s death is senseless. At a vigil on Thursday to remember Alaysha, some religious leaders said that violence in Oakland has risen to “epidemic” levels this year. Pastors from 18 African-American churches told KTVU that “part of the solution is having more African-American police officers with ties to the community”; they specifically called for the reinstatement of Captain Ersie Joyner, who had been recently removed from a leadership position in East Oakland.

Since the Sandy Hook tragedy last December, the Oakland police have collected hundreds of guns in a gun buyback program, one of many in the Bay Area. Many of the firearms that were turned in were illegal to own. One teenage Oakland resident who had volunteered at a previous gun buyback told KTVU that the reality is that it is still to easy to procure a gun in Oakland, even though the city has no gun stores.

Along with the deaths of more than 100 children so far this year by firearm, the killing of Alaysha is yet one more reason why the U.S. needs to get serious about gun reform. As Care2 blogger s.e. smith wrote, the conversation about gun reform must steer clear of “extremist rhetoric” and “stress that the ultimate goal is public safety, not storming into private homes to seize weapons from everyone.” Alaysha Carradine died because someone stormed a private home with a weapon — and that someone, and the gun that was used, have both yet to be found.

Photo from Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for the article.

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

so heartbreakingly sad

Ulane V.
Ulane V4 years ago

Awful,it's scary to think that nowadays it's dangerous for children even to open their door.

Vivianne Mosca-Clark

with our planet, from the bottom of the oceans to the very top of our atmosphere, being polluted. We are seeing the results of those actions.
Living with pollution, eating dead foods, GMO dead foods, breathing chemical and smoke and other unhealthy is hard for the human body / mind to create positive actions out of the situations they find themselves.
We are chemical factory's. Mixing all the pollutants in with our own chemicals, makes for some bad mixes fir our bodies to use.
This makes plenty of room for the people that want control to manipulate others.
In my world, no one has the right to take control of any other life force. This whole system is really a co-operative system. It is not the 'killed or be killed' society I was taught we were. It is a life and death balance between all life forces.
What happened to those children was a 'insane' action by people way out of control of themselves. In San Francisco, around the last 60's early 70's, there was a person killing black people randomly on the streets. At this time, I'm not remembering if the person was caught or not.
What is the difference of those people killing others like that or business/governments allowing people to die for profit or personal gains?
As a species, we are out of balance and need to return to center. When there is a balance in all parts of our life...most all of these insane actions will drop dramatically.
All people have the right to justice and dignity.

Austin Munn
Austin Munn4 years ago

It's sickening that this sort of thing continues to happen.

Lauren Berrizbeitia

Scary and sad.

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer4 years ago

James H

... and Birth Control.... ;-)~

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer4 years ago

John H
Why have laws against drunk driving when the drunks will not abide by them??? Why have laws against murder and stealing when murderers and thieves will not be stopped by them. If society did not have laws or regulations then anarchy would rein. If you do not want gun safety regulations or government in your life I suggest move to Somalia. There are no laws or government, no taxes unless you count the occasional ransom that has to be paid, you could have as many guns as you want until the guy with more guns comes along and takes yours. I will not stand by and allow my country to become another Somalia when you are doing the bidding of ALEC to get rid of laws and regulations put in place to protect the multitudes from the greed of the few. They tell you government, laws, regulations and taxes are bad so they can do down here what they are doing in Alberta with hundreds of square miles of devastation that has left the Earth stripped of all vegetation and 65 square miles of "tailing ponds" so full of poisons and carcinogens that they cannot even allow water fowl to land on them, or what they are doing to the Smokey Mountains where their mountain top mining cuts the tops right , by law they are supposed to put what they take off back in place but to hell with laws and regulations, they have been pushing it all over the sides polluting everything down below so that there is not a body of water in West Virginia that is not polluted by arsenic and other pollutants.

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer4 years ago

GGma Sheila D.

If you believe the Bible sin goes back further than Cain and Abel to when Adam and Eve succumbed to temptation of the forbiden against God's law and were driven from the Garden as punishment. Like I said laws are not written for criminals to abide by, they are written as guidelines for the rest of society. Why have laws at all if we know criminals will not follow them because they show the rest of us the lines we must not cross in a civil society...

Patricia H.
Patricia H.4 years ago

Save Our Children