Parking Lot gunshots rattle AMC Bay Street Moviegoers

Published On September 8, 2015 | By Rob Arias | Crime & Public Safety, News & Commentary

Shots rang out in the parking garage adjacent to AMC Bay Street on Saturday August 29th at approximately 10:15 p.m. No major news agencies picked up on the story but The E’ville Eye was forwarded a witness account from a contact at “As we were waiting in line to validate our [parking] tickets, the crowd started surging toward us and somebody said there was a shooter” noted the witness through email. “We ran out. We saw a woman telling police that she saw two kids, one taking a video of the other shooting. People were legitimately terrified”.

Apparently a confrontation between two small groups occurred leading to the incident. Emeryville Police Sergeant Fred Dauer confirmed the incident when contacted. “Two groups of juveniles ranging from 4-7 people reportedly fired a couple of gunshots in the Bay Street parking lot. Nobody was hit to our knowledge and there were no reports of any gunshot wounds at any local hospitals. One casing was recovered and a bullet impact mark was identified in the concrete wall on level 3A”. Dauer also noted that Surveillance footage was being reviewed but had not led to any suspects or arrests at the time of this reporting. “We currently have no suspects or anybody in custody.” It was unclear if the suspects were at Bay Street to attend a movie at AMC 16.

In light of recent tragedies in Aurora and Lafayette, any stories involving theaters and guns is generally front page news and can fuel hysteria. The lack of exposure of this story remains somewhat peculiar. Since there technically were no victims and nobody was arrested (and no major news sources reported it), it apparently doesn’t leave a digital trace of an actual crime. Something noted in this SF Chronicle Open Forum by contributor Sarah Golden.”I searched on Twitter and Google and news sites, and found no trace of what had happened. Probably no one got hurt. Probably not newsworthy.” Golden goes on to call for California to be the leaders in deterring gun violence including taxes on gun sales with proceeds funding public awareness campaigns.

A clip from last week’s public safety meeting can be viewed on the EPOA YouTube Channel.

When a gun goes off in Emeryville, is it news?

By Sarah Golden

A week ago Saturday, I went to a 10:15 p.m. showing of “Trainwreck” at AMC at Bay Street in Emeryville. As a public service announcement came on to remind us to silence our cell phones, a man ran in and yelled, “There’s a shooting!” Then, after a stunned silence, “Seriously, there’s a shooting: Get out!”

What followed was panic. We clambered for bags and over chairs and ran out the emergency exit into the lobby. People were yelling and reaching for cell phones. Realizing that I didn’t know where I should go or where danger might be, I huddled in a stairwell with my friends.

Each shooting I see in the media horrifies me. Like many, I’m frustrated and saddened with entrenched political inaction on an issue screaming for attention. But none of that mattered in the moment. Like everyone one else, I was terrified and uncertain. With visions of the Aurora, Colo., and Lafayette, La., theater shootings seared in my mind, I knew what the worst could look like.

Read more on SF Chronicle Open Forum →

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

4 Responses to Parking Lot gunshots rattle AMC Bay Street Moviegoers

  1. Phil Epstein says:

    Thanks for posting this Rob. I tried to read the article on SF Chronicle when I first saw it on Google News (in my “Local News” section) but they’re behind a paywall so no dice.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What have you heard about the homicide in Emeryville reported by the other blog? Apparently a homeless woman was beaten to death.

  3. Alex says:

    I think it is also a question to police why this information is not reflected in news.

  4. Pete says:

    I live at Bay St and never even knew this happened. We were at the A’s game and came home around 10:15 to 10:30. No sign of police cars, nothing. This is amazing to me. It seems to be played down by police & media, this could have gotten ugly real fast.

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