3 men shot, wounded early Sunday in West Berkeley

The men who were shot were reportedly hanging out outside a home in 2100 block of Addison Street. The shooters came from Seventh Street

Update, 2:00 pm: From from BPD Sgt. Mary Kusmiss: “About 12:51 a.m., on Sunday, March 4, 2012, the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) received multiple reports from community members regarding gunshots heard in the area of 7th and Addison Streets. BPD patrol officers responded and found the victims at Sixth and Bancroft Way as they were trying to leave the area. City of Berkeley Fire Department (BFD) responded to medically assess the victims.”

“A group of approximately five people were hanging out in front of a house in the 2100 block of 7th Street. Two suspects on foot approached the group on 7th Street.  The suspect(s) fired at the group. The suspects fled on foot, possibly to a waiting vehicle that fled the area. After being fired at, the group of five were located by responding officers a couple blocks south of the shooting scene. Three of the male victims sustained gunshot wounds, none of which were deemed life threatening. All of the victims were treated and released from the hospital.”

“BPD Patrol officers immediately began investigating and conducting area checks for the suspect(s) but were not able to locate any.”

“In the interest of not compromising the active and ongoing investigation, this is the total substance of what we are sharing today. The names of the victims of any violent crimes are protected by confidentiality.”

“We do not know if the two shootings are related. The BPD detectives will certainly explore that possibility.”

Original story: Three men were wounded early Sunday morning in Berkeley when shooters came around a street corner and opened fire, according to the Berkeley Police Department, reported in the Mercury News.

A group of five men were reportedly standing outside a home in 2100 block of Addison Street when the suspects turned onto Addison from Seventh Street, according to KTVU.

Berkeley police Lt. Dave Frankel said the wounded men ran from the gunshots and were found minutes later by police at Sixth Street and Bancroft Way. Their wounds were not considered life-threatening.

Police have not made any arrests and did not release any information about the shooters. The violence doesn’t appear to be connected to gangs or drugs, said Frankel.

This is the second triple shooting in Berkeley in three days. On Friday, three men standing on the sidewalk were shot from a passing car at around 6:21 p.m. in the 2200 block of Bonar Street. The three victims sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Three men shot on Bonar Street in Berkeley, no life threatening injuries [03.02.12] 

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  • Guest

    I’m gonna say it: Berkeley City Council, cut out  trying to “develop” West Berkeley and actually do something to promote safety and security in our neighborhoods. On whose behalf are you working? We are the people who live here, and we have had three triple shootings in the flats in the last week or so. This should be your focus, and if it isn’t, get another job. 

  • bgal4

    Having questioned BPD on this issue a number of  times during public meetings,  the answer has not changed,  BPD policy is to protect  all victims’ confidentiality according to state law regardless of known gang associations,  based on a criminal conviction.

    The very nature of retaliatory violence is the changing role of victim and perpetrator. Many cities police dept identify adult gang members for the purpose of public safety as provided for in state law.

  • bgal4

     Just sharing, I agree with you, odd.

    I would even say that is an understatement.

  • bgal4

     agree, odd, but predictable

  • Bruce Love

    I’m sure Mr. Walker and pretty much anyone else has somewhere, somehow, said something a person might find disagreeable or false.

    Anyway, I think Walker sounds pretty smart in the particular comments I quoted.  I don’t
    think he was talking simply about “youth employment” — I got a more
    nuanced sense from “something to do”.   Maybe it could be described in terms of “prospects” or “accessible place in society”.   I wonder how all this
    figures into people’s visions and plans for economic development in

    How do criminal networks, of which “gangs” are an epiphenomenon, work, after all?   They compete against the state to provide welfare, security, and economic opportunity.  They compete, in those ways, for the primary loyalties of people.   There are tribes that believe in the state, so to speak, and those that don’t.   Those tribes compete for membership.   And in this competition, it’s generally the criminal networks that are less picky — more willing to work with what they’ve got rather than turn people away.

    That’s part of why the state is failing.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    Adding police officers to the force would be a start, but the Council would have to come up with a way to pay for that.

    Taking a hard look at some of Berkeley’s sacred cows is also in order.  

    How effective is the Police Review Commission, really?  Does the ease with which allegations can be filed in Berkeley change the nature of policing in ways we might not have anticipated?  For example, do police work in configurations that give them more witnesses (to defend against allegations) that end up costing more than we can afford?  Are there less onerous forms of oversight that could be just as effective?

    My understanding is that BPD doesn’t get to use some tools/techniques that are in the “kit” of other departments.  That means that physical arrest requires more officers, which means less policing at other places.  Will Berkeley allow BPD to use tasers and other tools/techniques if it means that the police can be in more places at once?

    Protests, including those welcomed in by our City Council, soak up police resources.  We could either (a) have fewer of those; or (b) add police so that we don’t reduce service (as in the Cukor murder) when one is happening.

    Berkeley really puts itself out there for the homeless and mentally ill, in a way that few other cities do.  That costs money, in terms of services we provide.  It also has opportunity costs.  I know people who simply do not feel safe around, say, Downtown Berkeley.  People do not hang out and spend money at stores where they do not feel safe.  

    bgal4 wrote earlier about Berkeley’s policy against outing known gang members, as is the public policy in other cities.  We might look at that.

    Might also look at what some other cities are doing about arresting gang members for congregating.  

    Begin flaming….

  • bgal4

    PRC is not only a very expensive sacred cow it is enacted through the initiative  process so it would take another citizens vote to amend it to a more reasonable model of police review.

    The auditor form of police review is in many respects a better model,  good easy manage the types of complaints filed here with a lot less financial waste.

    San Jose is a good comparison.

    And TL or others respond please read any of the PRC annual report and give us a cost analysis of what it costs to investigate a complaint, and what percentage of complaints are the lowest level, disrespect.  Meaning the individual stopped by police did not like the way they were treated.

  • Bruce Love

    You’re talking about possibilities that might marginally improve the efficiency of policing.  So long as such efforts don’t have unintended consequences of reducing civil liberty or public safety who could object?

    The question arises, though, about whether or not such efficiency improvements can keep up with the problem.   Doesn’t it sort of look like: they can’t?   The state already has an incredibly high incarceration rate.  The incarceration rate is so high that the state can’t afford to keep prisoners housed, forcing early releases.  In state-level budget crunches, the prison system competes with the education system and infrastructure projects for dollars.  At the municipal level, police services compete with education and infrastructure projects for dollars.    All around us and throughout the state, in financially troubled municipalities, the level of policing is collapsing under these cost pressures.   Education and infrastructure are crumbling.  Making the police more efficient can help but can it possibly help that much?

    Meanwhile, look at the economic state of the communities hit hardest by crime and generating so much of the crime:  poorly educated, amazingly high unemployment, amazingly high incarceration rates, collapsed families and communities, food and housing insecurity, environmental discrimination, poor health care, and so on.   Large (national, international) criminal networks respond to that crisis with (illegitimate) economic opportunity whether it’s drug trade or black markets for electronics, cars, weapons, and metal.   They construct their own “security” apparatuses and, at the periphery, effectively provide welfare for some.   The resulting state of these communities means that at-risk status and criminal behavior cycles across generations.

    If there’s hope I think it will take much more than making the police more efficient.  If you look at the most troubled communities in economic terms, what can displace the role of criminal networks’ role in bringing in money?   The criminal networks are gaining strength by “employing” the unemployable: legitimate society ought to be competing with that.   It’s by no means an easy economic development problem but to me, it looks like it should be a collective priority.

  • Toni Mester

    I’ve lived in West Berkeley since 1979 and have been involved in both development and public safety issues including the infamous homeless collective firebombing (1990), when I was the block captain. The two issues aren’t that closely related, although developers like to suggest otherwise. It’s complicated. The most important personal step is growing backbone. Since I gave up Toni Chestnut, a childhood pseudonym that I used when I wrote for Plexus, I go by my own name. As an old friend told me on Saturday, “everybody knows who you are.” Well, so be it. Democracy requires courage. That doesn’t mean not being scared. During the homeless collective debacle, I lost a tooth grinding at night. That’s what neighbors in every problem neighborhood feel: tension, anxiety, fear. Don’t expect help from the politicans; work directly with neighbors and the PD.

  • Another Guest

    And these global statements of yours apply to West Berkeley…how? 

  • Bruce Love

    And these global statements of yours apply to West Berkeley….how?

    Plausible allegations of gang troubles;  poverty and crime;  a persistent achievement gap in schools; a city economy with few opportunities for the most at risk groups;  racial tensions;  environmental problems;  a municipality in financial trouble;  a surrounding region with tremendous concentrations of poverty and crime;  …  and enough native talent and money in Berkeley that creative economic development needn’t be just a pipe dream (if it can be done anywhere, Berkeley should be able to do it very, very well).

  • The Sharkey

    From what I have gathered at some point in the past Thomas Lord was banned from commenting on Berkeleyside (account name “dasht”) for persistent harassment/hounding of the Berkeleyside writers, and returned to the site in early 2011 as “Bruce Love.” The name change might have been part of the pardon deal agreed to by the Berkeleyside editors? I have no evidence or information supporting that, it’s just a hunch.

    Me, I ain’t nobody. I’m just a regular schmuck who works in SF, owns a home in Berkeley, and is trying to raise two kids in this whacky town. I’d love to attend all the City Council meetings and be a political gadfly if I had the time, but what little spare time I do have in the evenings is spent almost exclusively with my kids.

  • The Sharkey

     What an interesting resource! Thanks for the link.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    They apply only in the sense that West Berkeley will share the fate of the rest of the planet when the Sun explodes, as it surely will far, far into the future.  

    Screeds bloviating about what “legitimate society” should do are not worth serious attention.  We’ve got specific policies in effect in this specific city, at this specific time, and those are traceable to specific outcomes.  Neighboring towns with different policies have different outcomes for us to consider.  

  • Bruce Love

    Neighboring towns with different policies have different outcomes for us to consider. 

    Because if there’s one thing criminals respect, it’s a municipal boundary?

  • bgal4

     TL says “a city economy with few opportunities for the most at risk groups”

    This is a false statement.

    Send any needing kid to BYA, they get paid to attend employment development programs.  The can also apply to YouthWorks and get paid better than minimum wage with no skills and few on the job expectations.

    An audit of BUSD programs shows the majority of funds are spent on the at-risk group, as is typical of school district mandated programming.

  • berkeleykev

     I wouldn’t refer to San Jose as a model for any aspect of policing.  Terrible history there.

  • Bruce Love

    What you’re talking about there are charities, not really the kind of economic development I’m trying to talk about.  I’m thinking more along the lines of mostly private business development, although, sure,  governmental encouragement is ideally a part of that.  

    Our region has a bunch of serious needs.   Governmentally, there is a deficit of infrastructure maintenance and investment.   Structurally, the fragility of the global economy suggests we ought to be producing a lot more essentials closer to home.   Structurally, also, we have very large subsets of the adult (especially young adult) population un-/under-employed and not well prepared for the existing job market.   And that young adult un-/under-employment and under-preparedness is demographically very concentrated, thus sustaining multi-generational cycles of poverty and crime.

    So we have – especially here in Berkeley – smart and well prepared people plus money.   These assets find themselves in that context of societal collapse and structural deficit.  All I did here was express interest in the question of how economic development can have an impact on these dual and somewhat complementary problems:  a shiftless pool of labor, in trouble, and an accumulation of structural problems for the region’s economic resiliency.   That’s a convergence of circumstance that new business ventures can help to mediate.

    It’s a really simple proposition:  it might help to have business that could create realistic and useful and desirable employment opportunities for the large numbers of people in such dire straits.  

  • bgal4

     Federal funds are not charity.

  • The Sharkey

    This, of course, makes the somewhat unfounded assumption that the folks we’re talking about have any interest in learning skills or being gainfully employed in the first place.

  • bgal4

    Not according to various measurements including San Jose is considered one of the nations safest big cities.

    There are three forms of police review, and in my opinion the auditor model is superior.

  • W_berk

    YouthWorks is by no means a charity. I work for an organization that has utilized their services, and we have hired numerous outstanding young people–needless to say, these persons were not recruited from the ranks of West Berkeley gangs.

  • berkeleykev

     SJPD has a history of shooting first and asking questions later, an approach which I feel has at times been morally wrong; and maorality aside, I feel that SJPD’s approach would be pragmatically disastrous for Berkeley as well.

  • anon: deal with it

    >not recruited from gangs
    And why not? I should think that would really be helpful to the community!

  • anon: deal with it

    > It might help to have business that could create realistic and useful and desirable employment opportunities for the large numbers of people in such dire straits simultaneously addressing some of the region’s structural needs.
    I couldn’t agree more: speaking as a young person with a family living in West Berkeley, the income disparity here is incredible! Those of you who don’t live in it, or don’t talk to “those sort of people” can’t begin to understand.
    I can’t tell you how many people I know who search endlessly for jobs, and then begin to give up and get  money any way they can. I know, right here in Berkeley, four families on food stamps!  All of those parents have college degrees!
    Also the classism here that most of you don’t want to address only contributes to the problem. The more you turn up your nose at “rough-looking” kids, the more those kids feel and mirror your hate.
    Wake up and smell the coffee! More prisons and more policemen will not help: we already have more people in prison in the US than Stalin ever did in his gulags.

  • anon

    This doesn’t even deserve a response, really. Everybody wants a chance, Sharkey.