Tag Archives: high school

McClymonds sophomore is fatally shot in front of Boys and Girls Club

denzelphotoposter

The wall at the Boys and Girls Club on Market and 24th Street commemorates Denzel Jones.

photo and story by Anthony Beron

McClymonds high school students were shocked by the shooting in front of the Boys and Girls Club on Market and 24th Streets Saturday night, in which McClymonds sophomore Denzel Jones, 15, was killed along with a 35-year-old man.

“It’s a dangerous corner,” said freshman Jasmine Vilchis. “It makes me think about safety and worry about the killers, still on the loose.”

Vilchis was within earshot of the shooting, and recalls gunshots “ringing in the night, leaving everything silent.”

Spanish teacher Elsa Ochoa described him as having a lot of friends and as a student who presented a reserved resonance. “We’ve lost another youth to violence in Oakland.”

Several grief counselors were available Monday to help students sort out their emotions.

His family asked the public Sunday to help find the gunman who killed him. Police told reporters they have no suspects and no motive yet.

Jones, nicknamed “Beans,” had only attended McClymonds since winter break. He had transferred from Oakland High School and said he most enjoyed math. His sister, Sharda Macon, a psychology major at Laney College,  told KTVU, “We just really need a lot of support right now. It’s hard losing a kid. He’s just a baby.”

Debate coach and journalism assistant Pamela Tapia saw him as a student full of potential and fraught with academic talent, and as someone with a strong work ethic.

“He was genuine, intelligent and mindful. It’s so horrible that he had so much talent that wasn’t harvested; he always turned in the best work and was one of the best students I’ve had.”

In front of the Boys and Girls Club, bystanders stopped to sign two enormous posters and light candles. A huge teddybear and red and white balloons — his favorite colors — also were placed nearby.

“He was hecka quiet,” said freshman Nicole Funes. “He looked smart,  like he was capable of doing good work.”

Mack freshman launches her Twitter novel

With a blue-ink pen in her left hand, she glides it across the page leaving behind strange squiggles as her dozen metal bracelets scrape against the worn, wooden table.

The sound is amplified when students drift out of the room like a stream flowing downhill after the first rainstorm.  She is left alone.  Hunched over the desk, Janaya Andrews, 14, freshmen, composes the first 140 characters of her first twitter novel.

“I’m an observer.  Anything that pops into my head I’ll write a story about it,” says Andrews.

Andrews carries a black handbag on her right shoulder.  From there, she pulls out out an old purple composition notebook with pages hanging loose.  She opens it up to the next blank paper and begins to write.

“While I’m in my room listening to Escape The Faith, I’ll write about celebrities, but mix it with fiction.”

And so the twitter novel begins at McClymonds High School:

“As I walked into Mack, MC Hammer was demonstrating the Hammer Time but Destiny dragged me up the littered stairs, away from the joy & chaos”