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Oakland Homicide Rate Passes Last Year's

August 26, 2003|From Associated Press

OAKLAND — An armed robbery and an alleged domestic killing in the city last weekend left two people dead and pushed the city's homicide rate beyond last year's toll for the same period.

The killings marked Oakland's 75th and 76th homicides. At this time last year, there had been 71. The city ended 2002 with 113 homicides, the most since 1995.

The rash of violence started about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, when Seminary Gas clerk Pal Bajwa, 27, a Hayward resident, was shot multiple times during a robbery, police said. Bajwa, a native of India who had recently married and was expecting a first child, died at the scene.

A co-worker whose name was not released also was shot multiple times and was listed in critical condition at Highland Hospital.

The second homicide of the weekend happened on Sunday, when a 42-year-old Hayward woman, Bridghett Townsend, was allegedly strangled by her husband in a family member's apartment near west Oakland, police said.

The husband, who apparently fled in a vehicle, was arrested by California Highway Patrol officers. He was being held Sunday on suspicion of murder, Oakland police said.

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