Gang Wars: Oakland II   View more episodes

Aired at 10:01 PM on Saturday, Oct 31, 2009 (10/31/2009)      View all transcripts from this day


00:00:01Reporter #3: One major factor in the rising homicide rate is violence among latinos.
00:00:05Gang members drive around in cars, literally hunting members of the others' gang, and the bullets are flying.
00:00:11[ Gunshots ] Narrator: It's an escalating war, one that seems to know no bounds.
00:00:18Man: They're driving and doing everything else, and they just -- [ gunshots ] whoa, got to go.
00:00:23Oh, geez. let's go.
00:00:25This drive-by shooting happened right in front of a police station.
00:00:28Reporter: A woman was slumped in the front seat of the car.
00:00:30She had been shot in the leg, and she was calling for her son.
00:00:34Narrator: On the streets of oakland, everyone is in the line of fire.
00:00:38I'm gonna just show them how big the barrel is we got for y'all [bleep] up out here.
00:00:43You feel me? mitchell street.
00:00:44From little things to big things.
00:00:46Narrator: These are the faces of violence ..
00:00:48That little purple bullet right there, that [bleep] just paralyzes you no matter where you get hit.
00:00:53...Gang members who are armed and dangerous, with nothing to lose.
00:00:58 we don't give [bleep] next [bleep] life ain't nothing to us.
00:01:04There are thousands of illegal guns on the streets of oakland, selling for as little as $50.
00:01:10You live by the gun, you die by the gun, man.
00:01:12We got to protect ourselves, our people.
00:01:13You feel me?
00:01:17We holding on to our roots, you feel me, our hoods.
00:01:22[ Police-radio chatter ] Narrator: It is estimated there are as many as 10,000 gang members countywide, those in oakland are engaged in a violent war over turf and colors.
00:01:36Black and latino gangs have sliced up a 100-by-70-block section of oakland -- an 11-square-mile battleground.
00:01:44The epicenter of violence is increasingly to the east, which is dominated by three latino gangs.
00:01:51The norteños, or northerners, are the largest gang in oakland and fly the color red.
00:01:57The border brothers are the newest.
00:01:59They fly black and are a growing presence in the city.
00:02:03The sureños, or southerners, fly the color blue and trace their roots to southern california.
00:02:11But just as the latino gangs are fighting for dominance, there is an elite division of the oakland police department on the move, trying to take back the streets.
00:02:23This is oakland's gang unit, an army of just eight men.
00:02:29And they make their mark one raid at a time.
00:02:35[ Indistinct shouting ] ..
00:02:43...Agile and highly skilled, trained in the use of weapons and offensive tactics.
00:02:50But with almost 10,000 gang members here, but the eight-man unit has to rely on more than just brute force -- on intel often deciphered from the streets themselves.
00:03:00Keely: Oh, 187 -- that's the penal code for murder.
00:03:03They're saying that they want that person dead.
00:03:06Narrator: In this case, it's tags -- graffiti used by the gangs to mark their territory.
00:03:11Keely: We need to know what new groups are coming out.
00:03:14Out here, we can figure outwhich the clique is, and then we can startasking our informants or asking people on the streetswho those people are.
00:03:22Narrator: They are intercepted signals from the intensifying gang war.
00:03:26And already a confidential informant has given meaning to one of them -- a tag by a gangster named zapper.
00:03:33Keely: He goes by the street name of zapper.
00:03:36He's a member of the south side locos -- a local hispanic gang -- shows alliance to the sureños.
00:03:42Narrator: Zapper's real name is francisco hernandez.
00:03:46He belongs to the sureños, a violent group that the gang unit knows well.
00:03:51And now the informant tagged him as a murder suspect.
00:03:55His name has come up in the past as, you know, being onethat does a lot of shootings.
00:04:00He's never been arrestable, but this time he's gonna be arrestable.
00:04:04Keely: Of course, this guy is extremely dangerous.
00:04:07Narrator: Zapper is suspected of this year's murder number 103, a murder that took place in the neighborhood of zapper's rival gang, the norteños.
00:04:17The victim was marco casillas.
00:04:20Marco's family lives in a norteño neighborhood, but he wasn't in the gang.
00:04:28On the night he was murdered, he wore a red baseball cap, the norteño gang color, while walking the dog.
00:04:35It was enough for a sureño to pull the trigger.
00:04:41[ Gunshot, tires screech ] now a suspected killer is on the loose, and it's up to the gang unit to stop him ..
00:04:52If they can find him.
00:04:56The murder suspect, zapper, may be laying low.
00:04:59But across town, on 27th avenue, the rival gang, the norteños, are hardly hiding.
00:05:05Norteño: Other hoods wear blue, black, brown, whatever.
00:05:09We wear red. red is our color.
00:05:12You out here wearing blue or them other colors and we see you, you get it done.
00:05:17You can smell the tension, feel me?
00:05:19It's burning. the flames is lit right now.
00:05:22Narrator: It's saturday night in east oakland, and a group of norteños is watching each car go by.
00:05:31This is called posting, and it's the way gangs guard their territory -- territory that they kill over and will die for.
00:05:41Tonight, they're tagging their turf and making sure that everyone passing by knows that the norteños rule this neighborhood.
00:06:05The norteños are the old guard of oakland's gangs, marked by the color red.
00:06:11Just a few blocks away, though, red turns to black, indicating another gang's territory.
00:06:21This is 94th avenue, home to javier.
00:06:26He says he's not a gang member, but he lives in border brothers territory and flies their color, black.
00:06:35Javier: If se esguy se me wearing a blue shirt, like, all the time and I live right here, they're gonna come after me because, like, the gangs right here y are blue, red, and black.
00:06:48So, yeah, so, I like black.
00:06:52It's just, like, protection.
00:06:54Like, I don't want some guys to come and start [bleep] with me.
00:06:58Narrator: Javier is part of the 9400 boys, ..
00:07:03 they can't touch me.
00:07:05...Fat boy, raoul, snoopy.
00:07:08They are one of the hundreds of cliques in oakland, the youngest member is just 14 years old.
00:07:15And like javier, who was born in columbia, most came to america with their families looking a better life.
00:07:25Javier: I was running from the violence over there.
00:07:28My dad wanted a better future for me, so he brought me over here to the united states.
00:07:35Narrator: But for javier, that promise of a better life changed in a single night.
00:07:40Javier: I went to the club one night with my friends, and when we came out the club, some guys just rolled by in two cars.
00:07:49 they just pulled on the side of us.
00:07:52They showed us the gang colors and everything.
00:07:58[ Imitating gunfire ] [ tires screech ] Narrator: Javier was wearing black.
00:08:04And the shooters -- he thinks they wore red, norteños' colors.
00:08:0945 that hit me, bullet about this big.
00:08:14Got it right here.
00:08:16All right, there.
00:08:18Can you see it poking out? you see it?
00:08:21Right there.
00:08:22Narrator: The bullet is a constant reminder to javier of the price he paid for wearing his color -- a color that was supposed to protect him but instead made him a target.
00:08:36Now javier is part of a deadly game, caught up in a world of gangs all trying to be the most notorious, the most feared, the ones in control.
00:08:49Norteño: If they ain't with me, they against me, right?
00:08:52So what they got, I want.
00:08:55Narrator: For the oldest gang in oakland, the norteños, that means eliminating their enemies -- the new latino gangs like the 9400 boys and the border brothers.
00:09:06Norteño: You hear people talking about these border brothers coming up, feel me?
00:09:09[Bleep] them [bleep] ain't nothing but suckers, feel me?
00:09:11Border [bleep] burnt burritos, whatever [bleep] they is, this is northern california.
00:09:15Don't come out here banging that [bleep] true color bleeds.
00:09:22Javier: Any day, me or one of my friends could get killed, man.
00:09:26That's how it is around here.
00:09:28Or anybody -- anybody could get killed anytime right here in oakland, man.
00:09:34It's crazy.
00:09:35[ Indistinct shouting ] you live your life thinking all the time that some [bleep] is going to happen to you.
00:09:43Like, destiny is a [bleep] [ gunshots ] Narrator: Later, destiny means death for one of javier's crew.
00:09:58But up next, the 9400 boys take a dangerous trip into enemy territory.
00:10:05And then,gangs take to the street for a dangerous night out,an oakland tradition -- the sideshow.
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00:13:36[ Siren wails ] Narrator: The streets of oakland, california, have become a war zone -- a battleground encompassing an 11-square-mile area within the city.
00:13:47Reporter: A barrage of bullets shattered a west oakland neighborhood overnight -- so many that police actually ran out of those plastic markers.
00:13:55Narrator: It is a gang war over turf and colors that has resulted in more than 100 murders this year -- a number that keeps rising.
00:14:08The job of taking back the streets from the gangs falls to an army of just eight men.
00:14:14They're oakland's gang unit, and today they are on the hunt for a suspected killer.
00:14:18His name is francisco hernandez, and he goes by the street nickname of zapper.
00:14:25He's suspected of killing susana's brother, marco.
00:14:31Navario: You know, when you walkdown the block, you have to actlike you own the block.
00:14:34You can't walk scared,'cause then they come and they bother you and they start asking youwhat color you claim.
00:14:39And you really can'tget out sometimes.
00:14:42Man: Why is that?
00:14:44[ Voice breaking ]I DON'T KNOW.
00:14:45But my brotherwas trying to get out.
00:14:53He wasn't trying to be another statistic.
00:14:57Narrator: Susana's brother, marco, was the victim.
00:15:01Marco wasn't in a gang, but he was shot simply for wearing a gang color -- red.
00:15:07In the city of oakland, you feel like a prisoner.
00:15:10You can't wear red. I won't even wear red.
00:15:13I'm afraid of that color.
00:15:14Navario: You know, my parents -- my family has been here for generations.
00:15:19We shouldn't have to move out of here.
00:15:22We should be able to walk down the street safe.
00:15:25But we can't anymore. it's gotten worse.
00:15:29Marco is murder number 103 in a bloody year for oakland.
00:15:35For officer gerardo melero, the hunt for zapper is personal.
00:15:40The killing took place in his old neighborhood.
00:15:43Melero: And it was a norteño neighborhood where I grew up.
00:15:46You know, I rememberhow hard my parents work, and they still do.
00:15:50And so, when you'reout here working, that's what I think about -- it's like, okay, I'm working for people like my parents.
00:15:57You know, you think about, for each person you arrest -- all right, you know what?
00:16:02That's one less person that can rob a relative, you know, shoot them.
00:16:06So, you know, it's something that keeps you going.
00:16:15It's got to be one of these.
00:16:17Today, melero and his partner are going to check out two addresses where zapper's mother used to live, hoping to spot him.
00:16:25If you see that man, well, right behind him, there's a white door, and it appears to be in between two vietnamese businesses.
00:16:31Well, that's the door we're looking at, and apparently we just had a female hispanic enter that address.
00:16:37Is that her? that's her.
00:16:40It's a long shot, but a hispanic woman tied to one of the addresses could know zapper and could even be one of his relatives.
00:16:46She could be family -- maybe a mom or something.
00:16:49See if she goes through here.
00:16:50If she goes back up here, that's a big clue.
00:16:52That's a clue and a half, huh?
00:16:54Behind the car, the woman turns into the second address the officers are scouting.
00:17:04So, I mean, obviously there's a connection there.
00:17:06Those are the two addresses that we're looking at.
00:17:08What's the chances of that?
00:17:09Yeah, she walks out of one and walks into the other.
00:17:12Just had a female hispanic exit one and walk into the other.
00:17:16So there's still a connection.
00:17:18There's still probably family living here.
00:17:20The two addresses are now on the gang-unit radar, but a raid will have to wait.
00:17:26If we hit that house and he's not there, e search warrant is gonna read that we're looking for him for murder, so we don't want to do that.
00:17:32We don't want to let them know that we know about it.
00:17:35This is how the gang unit operates.
00:17:38They watch and wait for their chance to strike.
00:17:42They are careful because they know the gangs are not.
00:17:47For the gangs of oakland, keeping a low profile is seenas a weakness.
00:17:52And the weak get preyed upon.
00:17:59And they funk.
00:18:01Today javier and the rest of his crew are going out do just that, to go funking -- street slang in oakland for a risky game of chicken.
00:18:12In this case, they are going out for a ride in rival gang territory.
00:18:15Javier: From here to there, that's the 90s area.
00:18:20Narrator: Norteños' turf begins in the 60s AND STRETCHES BEYOND THE 30s, Right where javier and his crew are headed.
00:18:33Javier and his boys are not just cruising.
00:18:38Dressed in black, the color of their gang, this ride is meant to antagonize their rivals, the norteños.
00:18:46And it makes them a target, so they have to keep moving no matter what.
00:18:53[Bleep] that [bleep] javier's van is overheating.
00:19:00But stopping anywhere in this neighborhood is not an option.
00:19:04It's too dangerous.
00:19:06He starts running stop signs and speed bumps, trying to find a safe block to pull over.
00:19:20Just pull in here. alli vive, al otro lado.
00:19:31They've found what they think is a safe haven deep in the rival gang's territory.
00:19:42But here, they could be killed simply for what they're wearing -- colors of the wrong gang.
00:19:47Javier: If we broke down a couple of blocks away from over here, let's say like seven more blocks, there would be some [bleep] going on.
00:20:03Narrator: A red car passes by, the color of the rival gang.
00:20:07And it looks like it's turning around.
00:20:26Javier:BLOOD, WHAT THE [BLEEP] The car seemsto be coming back, heading backtowards javier and his crew.
00:20:35[ Dog barking ] [ engine turns over, indistinct conversations ] the 9400 boys make a hastyretreat back to their home turf, BACK TO THE 9s.
00:20:59But they've been seen.
00:21:20This is the essence of gang life in oakland, baiting your rivals to react.
00:21:25And after today's drive, the norteños may make a call of their own.
00:21:30Javier: We ain't punks, man.
00:21:32Like, anybody trying to harm us, that's for sure, we're gonna go and get them, man.
00:21:41Narrator: Up next, the game doesn't stop behind bars.
00:21:46Gangs run deep inside oakland's jail.
00:21:50And later, the gang unit gets one step closer to finding the suspected killer, zapper.
00:21:56Then, in front of javier's house, bullets fly.
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00:25:40Reporter: Everyone's trying to figure out what's going wrong in oakland.
00:25:42Narrator: Oakland, california -- a city torn apart by an all-out gang war.
00:25:48Come on out with your hands up before I sent the dog!
00:25:51An team of eight gang-unit officers battles an army of gang members.
00:25:56There are more than 22,000 people on probation and parole here -- per capita, more than any r city in america.
00:26:04For the gang unit, the probationers are the front line in trying to stem gang violence.
00:26:10Keely: He's a known border brother member.
00:26:12He's on parole for shooting somebody.
00:26:16Known gang members on probation can be searched at any time.
00:26:21And any sign of gang involvement -- gang colors or tattoos -- is reason enough for an arrest.
00:26:30So gang members are constantly on post, looking out for the police, also known as 5-0.
00:26:37The police is the number-one enemy out here, you know, especially the o.p.d.
00:26:43[ Police-radio chatter ] if police was to pull up right now, there's no doubt in my mind they would try to arrest every last one of us.
00:26:51Narrator: Most of these norteño gang members have already done time and are on either pration or parole.
00:27:00A stop by the police could send them straight back to jail.
00:27:06Just around the corner, a scout spots a police car heading their way.
00:27:10Norteño: [Bleep] come on, roll.
00:27:12Go to the back, go to the back, go to the back.
00:27:15The gang members carrying drugs, guns, or anything else that can get them arrested scatter while the others keep an eye on the cruiser parked just down the street.
00:27:28Well, we just know they're watching the front.
00:27:32Watching, just watching anybody, so, you know, they're just ready to blurp.
00:27:37[ Siren wails ] the norteños may have escaped arrest tonight, but this is the never-ending game of cat and mouse -- cop versus gang -- on the streets of oakland.
00:27:46If you choose to, you know,come back to the same place where you got in troublethe first time, you'll probablyget in trouble again.
00:27:53Narrator: Once released, gang members rarely leave their old ways behind.
00:27:57Melero: Hey, can you put your dogs away?
00:27:59Narrator: So this is how the gang unit keeps tabs on a potentially violent group of criminals.
00:28:05It's a series of small battles.
00:28:07You got to keep them on their heels.
00:28:09I mean, you got to let them know that we're out there and we're gonna take them to jail any chance we get.
00:28:18Narrator: Santa rita jail, the revolving door for many of oakland's gang members.
00:28:23There are more than 4,000 men behind bars here.
00:28:27Nearly two-thirds of them have gang affiliation.
00:28:31The first stop for any new arrival is gang classification.
00:28:37Here, officers catalog tattoos, figure out what signs the inmates know, and interview them to determine what gang they belong to.
00:28:49Come on.
00:28:49Take it you run with the sureños? yeah.
00:28:52What's n.k. stand for?
00:28:56The intelligence gathered here goes beyond the walls of the jail.
00:29:01It is vital information to the gang unit on the street.
00:29:05But classification is also a key to survival in a jail that is, like the streets of oakland, dominated by one latino gang -- the norteños.
00:29:15Brandwood: When they get into the jail, they got to claim, "okay, if I'm a sureño "and I say I'm nothing -- if I don't say anything "and they put me in a pod with a bunch of norteños, " Narrator: The threat of violence is a reality that forces the jail to segregate the gang members.
00:29:33In here, the same latino gangs that run oakland's streets -- the norteños, the sureños, and the border brothers -- have their own turf assigned to them by the jail.
00:29:43Man: These are our border brothers over here, and we have our sureños over here.
00:29:50Orange dictates it's the sureños.
00:29:52That way we can see them and we know that they are sureños by just looking at them.
00:29:58And there is no confusion of who they are.
00:30:02Narrator: But segregation has a darker side.
00:30:05It also allows the gangs to strengthen their bonds.
00:30:10Border Brother: Oakland -- that's where we're from, representing the border brothers.
00:30:14We're representing our people, you know, our raza, our latinos, and everything, making sure, you know, there is somebody out there that have their back no matter what.
00:30:22Narrator: It is here that hierarchies are set, rituals are taught, and younger members are hardened, ..
00:30:31Sized up by gangsters like lucky.
00:30:35There's some guys out there in gangs that are just -- just out there shooting, robbing, doing whatever they're doing just 'cause they like it.
00:30:45And those are the ones that move up in the ranks -- the ones that are putting in work, the ones that are actually gangbanging.
00:30:54Those are the norteños we want -- the ones that don't give a [bleep] they don't care, that all they have is us to live, breathe, eat [bleep] and die for.
00:31:04Those are the ones we want.
00:31:06Narrator: While going to jail may get the gangs off the street, it's anybody's guess ..
00:31:14Or whether jail just makes them worse.
00:31:20Up next, the gang unit sets up a stakeout to get zapper.
00:31:26Melero: Okay.
00:31:27And later, a deadly oakland tradition -- the sideshow.
00:31:32And then, in front of javier's house, a shootout.
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00:35:14[ Sirens wailing ] Narrator: On any given night in oakland, california, the sound of gunshots fills the air.
00:35:23Man: I don't know, man. I don't know.
00:35:25I hear the gunshots in the background.
00:35:27All I know is that there's gunshots and they're giving out speeding tickets.
00:35:29And I'm trying to figure out what's going on, man.
00:35:32Narrator: There are up to 2,000 gang members on the streets of oakland.
00:35:39Fighting against them are eight elite officers who form oakland's gang unit.
00:35:44For them, it's a war that's impossible to win.
00:35:47We're not that big of a unit for a city this size, so we kind of got to pick and choose our battles.
00:35:52Narrator: Right now, sergeant brandwood, officer melero, and the rest of the team are on the trail of a suspected murderer.
00:36:00The suspect's street name is zapper.
00:36:02But after two weeks of searching, the trail seems to be going cold.
00:36:06Do you got his phone number?
00:36:08Whose? zapper's.
00:36:09I thought you hada cellphone for him.
00:36:12We have an old one.
00:36:14I've never triedrunning an address.
00:36:17Brandwood: The problemwith these guys is they're -- especially the sureños -- they don't leavea lot of paper trail behind them anywhere they go.
00:36:26So, I mean, it's just really hard to get up on these guys once they don't want to get found.
00:36:33There's a lot of departments that'll go knocking on doors where this guy may be.
00:36:38Well, you do that, and then you alert the guy that he's wanted.
00:36:41And then the next thing you know, he goes on the run.
00:36:43He goes down to mexico or somewhere, and you got nothing.
00:36:45Narrator: Zapper still has no idea he's wanted by the gang unit.
00:36:50And with no solid leads, officer melero is out patrolling known gang turf.
00:36:56Oh, there he is, right here.
00:36:57And just ahead, he spots a familiar face.
00:37:00[ Police-radio chatter ] what's up? what's up?
00:37:05It's zapper's cousin, ..
00:37:10And someone that could lead the unit to zapper.
00:37:15[Bleep] relax. what's your name?
00:37:18Known gang involvement in oakland is cause enough to get you searched.
00:37:22And the officers take advantage of the opportunity.
00:37:26You forgot about that?
00:37:27They find incriminating evidence -- a knife and a set of jingle keys -- filed-down car keys that are tools of the trade for car thieves.
00:37:36Well, well, well.
00:37:38And the young gang member is not carrying identification.
00:37:43Officer melero sees an opening.
00:37:47You have one of two choices, okay?
00:37:49We can take you to jail for this, and then we know who you are.
00:37:52Or we can take you to somebody in this area that knows who you are, that can tell us your name.
00:38:01Hey, here's what I'm thinking.
00:38:03Let's take this guy back to the house.
00:38:05...To take the cousin to a known sureño hangout in hopes that zapper might be there.
00:38:11The plan is a long shot, but with few clues in the case, it may be the only shot the gang unit has.
00:38:19They pick up the bait.
00:38:21Melero: Well, here's our plan.
00:38:22This guy's got no i.d. we just stopped.
00:38:25 he's got a bunch of jingle keys.
00:38:28We've stopped him before in front of 58th avenue, and we know there's people there that can give us his name.
00:38:34So we're hoping that in doing so, in getting HIM I.D.'d, There may be a murder suspect that walks out of that house.
00:38:43Keep your eyes peeled.
00:38:46How you doing?
00:38:46She's trying to tell us his name.
00:38:50You probably can't see him in the backseat.
00:38:52Narrator: This is all just a stall tactic to see whether someone else -- namely zapper -- comes out of the house.
00:39:00 you're not lying to us?
00:39:04There's no sign of zapper, but the girl confirms the cousin's identity, providing a link between zapper's family and the gang safe house.
00:39:13It may be a thin connection.
00:39:16But with few other clues to go on, the gang unit is going to keep a close eye on the house.
00:39:26Up next, a chaotic stunt show on the streets of oakland.
00:39:33Officer: If you're gonna get him, get him now.
00:39:35Narrator:..The gang unit closes in on zapper.
00:39:38[ Gun cocks ] get on the ground. get on the ground.
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00:40:09See ureayo dtmcr leay .r Narrator: There are as many as 2,000 gang members on the streets of oakland.
00:42:20And today, the city's gang unit is hoping to put one of them behind bars.
00:42:26Man: Right here.
00:42:27Brandwood: Basically, what we're gonna do is we're gonna pick up where we left off with the sureño, zapper, the homicide suspect.
00:42:35Officer bunn is gonna set up surveillance over there on 58th avenue to see if this guy pops out.
00:42:41If cliff sees your guy setting up, we're gonna pull over to there.
00:42:44We'll set up a quick arrest team and go in and get the guy.
00:42:47Narrator: It's week four in the hunt for the murder suspect, zapper.
00:42:52And the unit is on a stakeout of a known gang safe house with ties to his family.
00:42:57Nearby, officer melero and the rest of the team post up, waiting for word, waiting for a sighting.
00:43:07Bunn:20, And haven't seen a sign of anyone at the house yet.
00:43:16Melero: Basically, we're just waiting on the undercover officer to let us know that he sees him and he's out in front of the house.
00:43:22And once he tells us that, we're gonna go there with guns drawn and take as much cover as possible.
00:43:28So, yeah, we have to realize that is a possibility.
00:43:32Copy, cliff.
00:43:34Narrator: They soon start to spot known gang members, including another of zapper's cousins, street name bandit.
00:43:47Other gang membersstart to arrive.
00:43:56Bandit seems to have called a meeting.
00:43:58If so, zapper may be on the way.
00:44:02There's some people hanging out, so we probably just should get ready.
00:44:05[ Police-radio chatter ] Copy.
00:44:21Hours pass, and still no sightings of zapper.
00:44:27[ Cellphone rings ] all right.
00:44:31But then melero gets an unexpected call.
00:44:34Yes, sir, yes, sir. go ahead.
00:44:36It's a c.i. -- a confidential informant.
00:44:40Yes, sir, yeah.
00:44:41The informant saw zapper driving in the early-morning hours.
00:44:45Black hood and jeans.
00:44:47They also spotted the car's license-plate number.
00:44:51Mm-hmm. hold on one second.
00:44:53Let me write that down, sir.
00:44:56Okay, five.
00:44:57It's the break the gang unit has been looking for.
00:45:00 and that's for sure him?
00:45:02All that remains is running the tag number and finally getting an address.
00:45:06Want to try it, please?
00:45:13OVER IN THE 90s, JAVIER AND HIS CREW Are picking up parts for the van to fix the radiator.
00:45:20Tonight's a big night, something that snoopy and the rest of the 9400 boys look forward to all week.
00:45:27It's an illegal oakland tradition -- the sideshow.
00:45:34After the clubs close on the weekends, the spontaneous car show can pop up on any corner.
00:45:41All it takes is one car to start doing doughnuts, and the crowds arrive, taking over the intersection.
00:45:47The crowds cheer on drivers skidding their cars in circles, and sometimes they become part of the show themselves.
00:45:57Seen again, this car spins out of control, slamming into a spectator.
00:46:05Once a showcase for drivers to show their moves, gangs have started to come out to the sideshow, and the violence has followed.
00:46:13Fights are the least of the problems.
00:46:17Just this year, there have been dozens of shootings and five murders tied to the roving event.
00:46:21 we don't [bleep] around. yeah.
00:46:25And although the oakland police have stepped up their efforts to control things, the violence continues.
00:46:31The sideshow has become just another battleground in the escalating gang war.
00:46:36And it's where javier and his crew will be taking the van tonight.
00:46:40We're doing a tune up on it so it can run better, 'cause sometimes either you got to run from people r or you got to chase people.
00:46:51A good car can be the difference between life and death.
00:46:59[ Siren wailing ] night falls, and javier's crew starts to post up in preparation for the sideshow.
00:47:13Like most of the gangs on the street tonight, the 9400 boys are drunk and stoned.
00:47:21Javier's friend snoopy knows it can be a dangerous scene.
00:47:41[ Imitating gunfire ] Narrator: Some of the crew heads out, while javier, raoul, and snoopy head back to the van.
00:48:17With the streets crawling with rival gangs, anything can happen at any time.
00:48:28Out of sight, a car pulls up, and a rival gang in ski masks heads straight for the 9400 boys.
00:48:36[ Gunfire ] Man: Stay down.
00:48:42The violence of oakland has come right to javier's doorstep.
00:48:47[ Gunfire continues ] stay down.
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00:49:26I don't know how they did it but I have lots of stuff going on right now and, do I look worried?
00:49:31It's great.
00:49:32I told them to improve something and they did.
00:49:34I wonder what else I should tell them? Maybe to pay my rent?
00:49:40I'm a PC.
00:49:40(pointing to self) Windows 7, my idea.
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00:52:46[ gunfire ] Narrator: In front of javier's house on 94th avenue, a rival gang has opened fire.
00:52:56Man: Who's got the keys?
00:52:57It was a violent scene that was too hot, and cameras stopped recording.
00:53:02Let's go [bleep] now.
00:53:05Two days later, javier's van is still parked in front of the house, and he's piecing together what happened in the gunfight.
00:53:19[ Gunfire ] ...6, 7, 8...
00:53:23[ Gunfire continues ] ...9, 10, 11, 12 -- that big mother there.
00:53:32One more right here.
00:53:34My friend was sitting down about right there.
00:53:37He was drunk, but we took him out before all that [bleep] happened.
00:53:42I ain't gonna lie. we shot back.
00:53:46Narrator: Despite 13 shots being fired, no one was hit.
00:53:52But now in the light of day, one thing is clear.
00:53:56Javier and his friends are in deep.
00:54:33Brandwood: Just becauseyou live in a gang neighborhood doesn't mean you gotto claim the gang.
00:54:37I mean,we got guys in our unit that grew upin gang neighborhoods, you know.
00:54:41They know all the gang members, but they succeeded to do what they're doing now.
00:54:45Narrator: It's been two months since the gang unit started their hunt for zapper.
00:54:50Today they're getting close.
00:54:53A car -- a grey nissan with a spoiler -- has led the gang unit to an address.
00:54:59And an undercover officer is posting near the house to try to spot the suspect.
00:55:05Man: Brandwood's going with you, right?
00:55:07Yep. all right.
00:55:08The unit splits up into two teams to wait for the call, taking positions at either end of the block to surround zapper as soon as he's spotted.
00:55:25They get the call.
00:55:39[ Gun cocks ] get on the ground. get on the ground.
00:55:43The unit surrounds the car.
00:55:51Back up. back up. back up over there.
00:55:55It took over two months, but officer melero and the gang unit finally get their man, finally get a suspected killer off the streets.
00:56:10Francisco hernandez, also known as zapper, ..
00:56:17Verdict unknown.
00:56:20For now, he's got time with his gang brothers, time that may only make him worse.
00:56:27As zapper heads in, another gang member is waiting to get out.
00:56:30Lucky, a norteño, has served his full sentence and says he's trying to leave gang life behind.
00:56:42Shoot it up, sit back in the car, and drive off.
00:56:46[ Gunfire ] I didn't know that I was hurting someone's brother, someone's sister.
00:56:53I didn't know that if I killed this person that his mom would hurt for it later.
00:56:58I thought I was fighting for something to better myself.
00:56:59R the only thing I got to show for it is a [bleep] record and a prison number.
00:57:08Narrator: Back in the 9s, javier has something new to show for his fight.
00:57:14Today he's putting on a different color -- white.
00:57:24It is a tribute to snoopy, one of javier's best friends, a member of his gang.
00:57:30Snoopy was shot while out at a recent sideshow, killed by a rival gang.
00:57:35And now the 9400 boys are out for blood.
00:57:38Javier: Everybody knows what the rule on the street is.
00:57:42You go and do something about it 'cause it was your blood, it was your family.
00:57:48Whoever did it better be hiding, because he's gonna get it from me.
00:57:56Lucky: You don't know what you're fighting for, and you're not ever gonna know the truth.
00:58:02It's not gonna get you nowhere.
00:58:06I know because I lived the life.
00:58:09Narrator: Snoopy was death number 124, the last in a bloody year, and already the rival gangs are bragging.
00:58:18This is snoopy's tag.
00:58:20Boy: That's my [bleep]snoopy right there.
00:58:22And coming off of itis a red line, the boast of his killer.
00:58:26Boy #2: All these [bleep]gonna get the [bleep] laid up.
00:58:30That's all I gotto say.
00:58:32The cycle of violencecontinues.
00:58:34In oakland, revengeis a promise all the time.