Another Antioch Marina sideshow, dozens of gunshots heard in downtown Thursday night

Cars can be seen doing donuts in the Antioch boat launch parking lot and at W. 2nd and L Streets next to the Antioch Police station in front of officers late nights in July 2023. The building in the photo had a bullet hole in one of the outside walls from the gunfire Thursday night, Aug. 10, 2023. Herald file photos

Bullet hole in at least one building; police dealing with homicide unable to respond; Councilman wants zero-tolerance details to supplement patrol

A bullet hole can be seen in the outside wall of the building on the corner of W. 2nd and L Streets across from the Antioch Police Station Friday morning, August 11, 2023. Photo courtesy of Joy Motts.

By Allen D. Payton

Two residents complained about more cars at the Antioch Marina parking lots and dozens of gunshots Thursday night, August 10, 2023, once again disturbing downtown area residents. At least one building that houses a non-profit organization across the street from the police station ended up with a bullet hole in the outside wall.

Rivertown resident Joy Motts shared with the Herald on Friday, “Last night over 40 cars were at Antioch Marina parking lot. At 11:08pm, at least 40 shots were fired from automatic weapons. We heard it at our house. All of downtown heard it. At least 30 cars were counted speeding away.”

“I have videos of what it was like for the residents at 2nd and L Street and of all the vehicles speeding away.  But the resident does not want them on social media or news for fear of retaliation,” she continued. “(District 3 Councilman) Mike Barbanica is trying, but this has become an emergency situation in downtown.”

“What is also concerning is there is no reporting after the fact. A bullet hole was found in the building at the corner of W. 2nd and L Streets. Police did show up after the fact,” Motts wrote. “Why was there no police reporting? Innocent people are going to die, it is only a matter of time. We are at our wits end. It is chaos in downtown. All of us know that live here.”

“They need private armed security in the Antioch Marina at night,” she shared. “And APD needs to put those drones to use that Lamar (Mayor Thorpe) says are solving crimes. We are desperate.”

“It’s every night, now. Sideshows, donuts and gunshots,” Motts added later.

On a downtown resident’s Facebook page on Friday, he confirmed hearing the multiple gunshots.

“So last night we are sitting at home and around 11pm we hear 50-60 gunshots (yes really, probably more) and if you live in Antioch you kind of get numb to these things, but this time it was different because we could hear the whizzing noise of the bullets going through the air. Sounded like it originated from the Marina. I look out the window and see multiple cars speeding off, followed by sirens shortly after. What gets me is if you listen to most of our elected officials namely the Mayor or Tamisha (Mayor Pro Tem Torres-Walker), you would think the biggest problem in Antioch is hordes of white supremacists (and the patriarchy) terrorizing the public. The Mayor even claimed that crime and sideshows are down (probably because no one reports it anymore) They offer nothing but deflection. I’m not going to act like they are responsible for all this towns [sic] problems, but they are part of it for sure. Its [sic] downright embarrassing listening to these people talk. The sad part is, Antioch at least on paper has everything to be a very nice city. Miles of waterfront, Black Diamond Mines, Contra Loma, etc, but with years and years of mismanagement its [sic] becoming a dump, literally.”

Their information was shared with Antioch Police media relations officers and the new acting chief asking for confirmation and what if anything the police did in response..

“Yes. We heard about the gunshots and cars at the marina,” APD Public Information Liaison Sgt. Price Kendall shared. “We had four officers working the homicide (from earlier that night) leaving us two officers to deal with 40 cars.”

The department is currently short-staffed with at least 35 sworn officers on paid leave during the two investigations and 16 vacancies from the 115 positions approved in the budget.

When reached for comment Barbanica said, “I had a meeting with the city manager on it, yesterday and I made it very clear that the only way the city is going to get this resolved is with a zero-tolerance, hard-line stance. We cannot continue to have lawlessness. I told him we need to be doing is running special, overtime details in the evenings and bring in surrounding agencies, if need be. If someone is coming into our community to commit crime, it’s going to make it very uncomfortable.”

“I fear this not slowing down until we take a pro-active approach, and it must be a zero-tolerance stance for any crime whatsoever,” he reiterated. “This needs to be outside the standard patrol of the officers who are out there enforcing the law.”

“I ran zero-tolerance details in the City of Pittsburg for six years and the team was credited with lowering the crime rate by 23 percent,” Barbanica shared.

“We need to make sure city leaders and community leaders are on board because there will be people complaining. But we cannot continue on this path,” he added.

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