Ayana Dominguez, an aspiring hairstylist and 18-year-old recent graduate of Berkeley Technical Academy, was gunned down last week in a Wendy’s restaurant parking lot in Oakland, according to police.
Officers responded Thursday, July 10, to reports of gunshots in the Fruitvale district of East Oakland at 8:45 p.m. When they got to Wendy’s, at 3111 International Blvd., they found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. He refused an offer by police to take him to the hospital and went instead with a friend. He was Dominguez’s 22-year-old boyfriend, according to the Oakland Tribune.
Police learned that a Berkeley teenager also had been shot and was taken to the hospital by friends. She later died of her wounds. Police identified her as Dominguez.
On Monday, friends and business associates of Dominguez were reeling from the news.
“Everyone is just stunned and depressed and enraged that this happened,” said Kathleen Cha, a senior communications officer at ABAG, the Association of Bay Area Governments. “She was so young with a lot of promise and potential.”
Dominguez had worked at ABAG for a year as part of the “Highways to Work” program funded by the Alameda County Department of Social Services. It places at-risk youth at paid internships in various agencies to give them work skills.
Dominguez had worked part time for the communications department of ABAG for about a year. Her last day was May 31, said Cha. She did a variety of administrative tasks, including data entry, filing and copying.
“She was a quick study,” said Cha. “She was really sweet, but really smart.”
Jamee Harris, a counselor at Berkeley Youth Alternatives, had worked with Dominguez to place her in various jobs. She said Dominguez wanted to be a hairstylist and had plans to go to cosmetology school at Laney College. Dominguez had also worked at Festoon, a Berkeley salon, for six months prior to going to ABAG.
Dominguez finished her course work at Berkeley Tech in February and graduated in June, said Harris.
“She was nice and sweet,” said Harris. “I’m sure she was simply a victim of association. She was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Harris said the news of Dominguez’s death was “very devastating.”
Oakland police have not made any arrests in the case. Police ask anyone with information to call the Oakland Police Department Homicide section at 510-238-3821.
Berkeley itself has had just one homicide in 2014.
Berkeleyside will update this story with memorial information.
Bay Area Crime Stoppers is offering up to $15,000 as a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for the Fruitvale shooting. Anyone with information may call police at 510-238-3821 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572.