Shooting breaks out at Davante Riley’s funeral

As friends and family paid their last respects to Davante Riley, a former Media Academy student who was fatally shot shortly after his 18th birthday ended, gunfire broke out at the church, causing panic, some injuries and a huge police response.

One teacher who was present at the funeral explained the situation.

 “Basically the funeral was about to end, and before we knew it, there were people yelling saying, ‘There’s a shooting,'” said William David Williams, who taught Riley at Media Academy last year. “There was cops everywhere.”

Williams was devastated and angry.

 “We were not only upset that one of our students was a victim of a shooting, but that they wouldn’t even respect his funeral,” he said.

Riley was shot at 12:14 a.m. on April 18. A 15-year-old girl, who reportedly admitted to shooting Riley, has been charged as a juvenile with his murder. Police have said the shooting of Riley was not gang related.

News reports estimated that there were more than 300 people at the funeral at  Cosmopolitan Baptist Church.  Many of those grieving were students from Media Academy and other schools at Fremont Federation of High Schools.

Back on campus, word spread quickly about the gunfire. During 6th period, Benjamin Schmookler, principal of Media Academy, walked around his campus delivering this letter to teachers and students:

Dear Fremont Campus Community

Today at the funeral for former Media Academy student Davante Riley at Cosmopolitan Baptist Church at 988 85th St., Oakland, there was a shooting. Several assailants began firing handguns. There are reports of several injuries. There is specification that the shootings were gang related. As more information becomes available, we will communicate.

None of the injuries was due to a gunshot, according to news reports, but a pregnant woman at the funeral was taken away from the scene in an ambulance.