California Weekly Newspaper Editor Shot to Death in Oakland

A veteran journalist was shot to death Thursday in a brazen downtown attack that police believe was a deliberate hit.

Chauncey Bailey, 57, editor of the Oakland Post and a former reporter for The Oakland Tribune, was shot about 7:30 a.m., police said. Witnesses said a man wearing a mask shot Bailey multiple times and then fled, according to Oakland Police spokesman Roland Holmgren.

Holmgren said police don't have a motive for the killing, but it did not appear to be random. He said it's not clear whether the attack had anything to do with Bailey's journalism work, but investigators will be looking at that angle.

"All of those possibilities will have to be definitely explored and explored thoroughly," he said.

Bailey was shot multiple times in daylight near the county courthouse, Holmgren said. Witnesses to the shooting are cooperating in the investigation, but there are no suspects yet, police said.

Holmgren said the weapon used was not a handgun, but he would not disclose the gun's caliber.

Bailey was a familiar fixture on the local news scene, working at the Tribune for more than a decade and at other area media outlets, including KDIA-AM radio and cable channel Soul Beat TV. Before that, he worked for 10 years at the Detroit News.

In June, Bailey was named editor of the Post, a weekly publication geared toward the Bay Area black community.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said Bailey will be missed.

"It is a tragedy when any person loses his or her life by an act of violence. The crime and violence on Oakland streets presents me with the most painful and difficult challenge I've ever faced," Dellums said in a statement.

In a statement, Oakland Tribune managing editor Martin G. Reynolds, called Bailey a "a friend, a valued colleague and a loving father," whose coverage of Oakland's black community was "a tremendous asset" to the newspaper.

Reynolds said he saw Bailey only last week wearing his trademark suit and tie and "we chatted as we always did when we saw each other, and I congratulated him again on being named editor of the Post."

Bailey's death, "has left all of us at the Oakland Tribune shocked and deeply saddened," Reynolds said.