Community members held a vigil and rally in Oakland, California, after a 60-year-old Asian woman was fatally shot during an attempted robbery in Little Saigon.
Lili Xu, a beloved dentist in Oakland’s Chinatown, was inside a parked Mercedes Benz sedan with her boyfriend when a white model four-door Lexus pulled up alongside them at the intersection of East 11th St. and Fifth Avenue on Aug. 21.
In a surveillance video, a suspect can be seen exiting the Lexus and approaching the passenger side of the Mercedes. Screams can be heard in the video followed by the sound of three gunshots before the suspect returns to the white car and flees from the scene.
Xu was taken to a hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
UPDATE: Woman shot & killed in front of her boyfriend during robbery attempt at 5th Ave. & East 11th St. in Little Saigon was Oakland Chinatown dentist Lili Xu, 60. @oaklandpoliceca investigating. 4,6,6,7 p.m. @KTVU pic.twitter.com/sRyCaVbK21
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) August 22, 2022
The incident has sparked outrage among community members in the neighborhood, prompting organizers to hold a Stop Asian Hate rally in response to the incident.
Community members gathered at 2 p.m. on Monday in Frank Ogawa Plaza outside the Oakland City Hall to call out city leaders for their purported lack of action.
“We see the politicians, we need everyone to play their part and do their work. But it’s the same thing. It’s a lot of empty promises,” one resident at the rally reportedly said.
“I’m so sick and tired of hearing Asian Americans being targeted,” Stewart Chen, president of the Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council, reportedly said. “I ask the council, I ask the chief, when is it ever going to stop? And there are solutions. I know there are solutions.”
On Monday, dozens of friends, family and city leaders also placed candles and flowers during a vigil, which took place near where Xu was killed.
The Chinese American victim reportedly came to the U.S. in 1995 and had been a dentist for about 15 years. She was remembered as a dedicated practitioner and a passionate ballerina.
“Everybody’s so angry and just shocked,” Eve Zhang, who was one of Xu’s ballet instructors, told Mercury News. “Everybody just loved her, just because she’s so kind. She was a swan. She was dancing so beautiful. All of a sudden, she’s gone.”
“Exerting violence on other people – hurting other people – is not the solution,” attendant Eddy Zheng reportedly said. “You’re killing not only a human life. You’re killing a community.”
At a news conference on Monday, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong vowed to increase police patrols in the area, add more resources and shift tactics to utilize undercover officers.
“This is not [sic] just been happening for a few months,” Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas was quoted saying at the rally. “It’s been happening for a few decades and we know that type of targeting of our community has to stop because we’ve had enough.”
The Oakland police are urging witnesses to come forward with any information. Investigators are also calling on the driver of a white Tesla that was in the area at the time of the shooting to come forward and speak with officers.
Featured Image via CBS News