- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 29, 2011

OAKLAND, CALIF. (AP) - Police searched for multiple suspects Tuesday after a gunbattle in a parking lot where a rap music video was being filmed left seven people wounded, including a 1-year-old boy who was shot in the head.

The gunfire erupted around 6 p.m. Monday as about 20 people gathered outside a west Oakland liquor store, police said. The victims were transported to local hospitals by others at the scene before officers arrived.

The toddler, a man and a woman were critically injured, Police Chief Howard Jordan said. The remaining victims _ all males _ sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

“This was a pretty heinous act that took place in our city,” Jordan said, asking any witnesses to come forward with information. “This should not be tolerated by this community.”

Witnesses initially said Oakland rapper Kafani was the one making a video when the shooting occurred. But Kafani said Tuesday that while his promotional van was in the vicinity, he himself was not there.

“I was in the studio,” said Kafani, who has a deal with an independent record label. “I get these tweets that I had been shot and then some of my family members started calling, asking me what happened.”

Other family members then called and told Kafani that his cousin Hiram Lawrence and Lawrence’s 1-year-old son had been shot. Kafani said Lawrence had mentioned earlier Monday that he was going to a video shoot.

“My cousin was holding his son and a bullet hit him in the hand, and his son was shot in head,” Kafani told The Associated Press.

Lawrence then drove himself and his son, also named Hiram, to the hospital.

Relatives who gathered at Children’s Hospital Oakland on Tuesday declined to speak with reporters, and the hospital wouldn’t release any information about the child. Kafani tweeted mid-afternoon: “Right now lil cuz in coma but both sides of brain seems to be functioning right now pray pls.”

Investigators were still trying to piece together what happened and determine a motive Tuesday. They said it appeared one group of people fired on another group, and the second group fired back.

But Sgt. Randy Wingate said some of the people who returned fire were “not as cooperative as we’d like them to be.” He said authorities are looking at “several persons of interest.”

Wingate wouldn’t say whose video was being recorded but said investigators “don’t think that Kafani has any significance in this case.”

A surveillance camera at State Market Liquors captured parts of the shooting, including three people wearing hooded sweat shirts firing from around the corner from the store.

Bullet holes riddled the liquor store’s exterior Tuesday, and two cars still parked outside had shattered windows and flat tires from bullets.

Story Continues →