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Man charged in connection with mass shooting at Juneteenth celebration in Oakland

AP

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A 23-year-old Oakland man has been charged in connection with a mass shooting that broke out at a Juneteenth celebration in the San Francisco Bay Area last month.

Prosecutors charged 23-year-old JaJuan Kelly with four counts of aggravated assault with a semi-automatic firearm for shooting four people at the Oakland event, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Authorities are looking for several suspects, and District Attorney Pamela Price said she was “deeply relieved to announce that charges have been filed against one of the individuals.”

Kelly was one of 14 people shot and injured on June 19 at an unauthorized side event following a peaceful celebration attended by thousands. No one was killed and the injured were between the ages of 20 and 30. Police initially said 15 people were shot, but later revised the number.

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Ernie Castillo, a lawyer for Kelly, said Wednesday it could be a case of self-defense, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned they had been freed – after the end of the Civil War and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth Day was declared a federal holiday in 2021 and is becoming increasingly popular even outside of America’s black population.

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