OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — A suspected killer has been arrested and charged after 11 people were shot on a music video film set in Oakland. Police officers arrested Brian Cruz, 21, of San Leandro, and booked him into jail on homicide charges.

The mass shooting happened on the evening of January 23 on the 5900 block of MacArthur Boulevard. Not long before the gun battle erupted, 18-year-old Mario Navarro went to the film set to watch the music video being recorded near a gas station. Navarro loved music, his family said.

But he was caught in the middle of the melee, and was one of 11 victims shot. Police said there were about 50 people in the crowd and multiple gunmen. “There was a shooting between several individuals,” the Oakland Police Department wrote.

Mario Navarro
Mario Navarro, 18, recently graduated from Unity High School. (Family photo)

Navarro had just celebrated graduating from high school, according to his family. “Sadly the love he had for music put him at the wrong place. We lost him,” his family wrote.

Navarro’s father said ambulances were slow to arrive, and all of the victims were ultimately driven to hospitals by friends. “The ambulance never showed up. They only got there after everyone was gone. They could have saved my boy’s life. Instead, he was taken by people with no experience,” Navarro’s father told KRON4.

The mass shooting happened just a few blocks away from Unity High School. The school’s principal said his heart dropped when he discovered one of his recent graduates was killed.

“When you find out who it is, it goes from being a statistic to a person. It’s just devastating,” said William Nee, Unity High School principal.

The victim’s dad, also named Mario Navarro, said, “Every second, I miss my boy. He never did anything wrong.”

Cruz was arrested on February 16 in Oakland, but the OPD did not release information about the arrest until Wednesday. The Oakland Police Department said Cruz was arrested with assistance from U.S. Marshals, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Fairfield police, and San Leandro police.

Cruz is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

Navarro was one of 17 people slain in Oakland this year. Many arrests have been made. OPD’s homicide detectives said they solved more than 50 percent of 2023’s homicide cases.

Bay City News contributed to this report.