Berkeley police investigating shots fired in South Berkeley

Berkeley police have cordoned off Acton Street near Oregon to search for evidence in connection with a shooting that happened around 5 pm, according to the police scanner, and Berkeleyside tipsters.

Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies are talking to a man who went to Highland Hospital with possible gunshot wounds, according to the scanner. Berkeley police are on their way to talk to the patient, who may have been involved in the incident.

One south Berkeley resident reported she heard about seven shots being fired shortly after 5 pm. Police said on the scanner that someone who may be a suspect sped off in a blue GMC Yukon.

Berkeleyside will update as more information becomes available.

Update: Sgt. Mary Kusmiss, the public information officer for the Berkeley Police Department, sent out this update at 7:30 pm:

“This evening, June 20, 2012 at about a minute before 5 p.m. City of Berkeley Police (BPD) got calls reporting possible gunfire in the 2700 block of Acton Street. BPD patrol officers responded and found some casings and blood at the scene but no victim(s). A male victim showed up at a local trauma center with a non life threatening injury.”

“BPD is still on scene investigating. BPD Homicide detectives were notified. Patrol is handling the preliminary investigation. Homicide will do the follow up investigation”.

“It is too early to speculate on a suspect or suspects or a motive.”

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  • Berkeleyfarm

    Holy cow, not again.  I hope they catch the shooters. 

  • Ed S.

    5 p.m?  Well it’s not like anyone would be around at that time, or, there would be kids around.  Sorry for the flip sarcasm, but live right around the block, and . . . now . . . worried. 

  • Berkeleyfarm


  • bgal4

    The shooting on Sat was at 2pm. I would speculate that the shooting today is linked to a half dozen other recent shootings. We need answers from the chief about this gang activity. Who, what, why and how?

    Based on the markers in the street looks like at least a dozen rounds were fired.  A recently remodeled house was hit in the garage door.

    I tuned in to the internet scanner when I heard the gunfire and learned that a BM was seen running towards Ward from Oregon along Acton.

  • bgal4

    “It is too early to speculate on a suspect or suspects or a motive.”

    Disrespect, the usual excuse for killing among gang members.

  • anon

    What a sight to turn on my street with my young children only to see crime scene tape and a half-dozen police cars at the next intersection… the one we pass at least half the days of the week on our way home from the park. 

    I’m worried and I’m pissed. South Berkeley deserves better. What is being done to STOP this?

  • Anonymous

    What was going on around Telegraph and 57th last night around 11pm? BPD and OPD had a couple square blocks blocked off and were looking for a goodies black 17 year old with a gun according to the scanner but I didn’t read anything about it today.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, for the civilized people who have to live around that madness.

  • Kamarie00

    Has this neighborhood always been like this or is it relatively new?  I mean, shootings within a few blocks of Sacramento and Ashby.

  • bgal4

    Yes, since the mid 80s. Because of targeted enforcement action we recently enjoyed the past three summers with significantly less gun battles.

    But this recent wave of gang shootings is definitely NOT a good sign, especially considering that now that two primary neighborhood groups ROC and San Pablo park council are not in action the community is poorly organized in response.

  • Berkeleyborn234

    To answer your question, yes. Much of the area between Ashby, MLK, Sacramento, and Ward have had shootings over the years. Lots of people moved into these neighborhoods over the last decade as they were a bit less expensive, close to Bart and Berkeley bowl but I assure you, gun violence in this area is not new…

  • bgal4

    Not sure why you would limit the gun violence to just beat 12, should include beats 11, 13 and 14, and there are other hot spots in west Berkeley.

    see map

  • Anon

    Just moved to the neighborhood and was extremely unnerved to see all the yellow tape and bullet casing markers on Oregon Street this evening. Coming from SF and never saw a crime scene like that in all my years in the Mission. Concerning to say the least, especially having a young daughter. Would love to get involved in a local citizen group to help curb this nonsense.

  • Berkeleyborn234

    Agreed, but I’m most familiar with the area near this last shooting

  • Berkeleyfarm

    Oh yeah.  I live a bit north of there in the usually-better part of beat 14, but one of the “commute time” shootings was on my street. 

  • actonneighbor

    I spoke with an officer tonight and he told me that they’d found the person who was shot, who was claiming he was shot ‘very far away, down in oakland’. they’d followed his blood back to his house, which is on Acton down the street half a block from where this happened. I’m reasonably sure I know which house this is, and the officer told me, when we asked what the hell was going on, that ‘your neighbor is the problem. someone is out to get him’. I’m not sure what the recourse is at this point. 

    This particular house has really been generally pretty quiet and we haven’t had issues with the people living there, but there has been a lot of hanging out on the corner, sitting on the fire hydrant, standing in the middle of the street staring down Oregon going on. From now on we’ll call the cops any time we see any of this.

    There were little kids out on bikes at this hour when this shooting happened. Almost every house on this block has a young child or two living there. but irritatingly our community is also kind of complacent; our block email list just says ‘tell berkeleyside’. ok well yes, but we need to start calling the cops when stuff happens too. 

  • bgal4

    Neighbors can collectively send an anonymous letter to the family demanding this young man be prohibited from hanging on the street or you will take further legal action to protect residents from the threat his actions have created.You can contact your Area Coordinator in the police dept and set up a meeting to problem solve. There are other steps that can help depending on if the property involved in rented or owner occupied.

    Action now could save this young man’s life, if he is prepared to treat this shooting as a serious wake up call.

  • bgal4


    ask for contact information for neighborhood watch group near you.

  • anon2

    How do we get these citizens groups active again?

  • anon2

    contacting the area coordinator sounds like a good start and I like your suggestions for how to follow up and let people know the neighborhood won’t just stand there while things get scary.  Not good for anyone who lives there – young, old, new, or longtime residents. thx for the tips 

  • Iceland_1622

    Try this :  The first four cameras funded by Weed and Seed were installed in 2009 at Leafland Avenue and College Street; Leafland and Union Street; Marietta and Edward streets; and Marietta and Van Dyke streets.
    The police department also placed two cameras outside of the Weed and Seed area with grant funds provided by Project Safe Neighborhoods, a nationwide initiative to reduce gun and gang crime. One camera was installed at Johns Avenue and Maffit Street, while the other was placed in the Jasper Park area, near Calhoun and East Main streets.The high-quality cameras provide police with footage that can identify something as small as a license plate number from up to a block and a half away and are capable of recording interactions taking place inside vehicles. The cameras can be tilted, panned and zoomed from computers in the police headquarters. They can store video footage for up to 25 days.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    Have they been of any use? Has any gang activity been stopped because of these? Would be a good ? for a coffee with the commanders…

  • bgal4

    Not good for any of us near Oregon St and Sacramento. These recent shootings indicate  new players are filling in the vacuum that was left after years of our targeted action towards commercial and residential properties associated with street level drug sales.

    The city will only go as far as residents require them to. We need to combine knowledge, experience with a new organization to protect the gains we worked so hard for in south Berkeley.

    I ran into our friends from the San Pablo neighborhood council on the recent election day, they expressed frustration at the poor communication and partnership with the city these days. I fully understand.

    Right now on the west side of Sacramento there are a few block groups starting up. Problem has always been that the neighborhood watch model is inadequate for crime prevention/reduction and problem solving efforts. Block level groups are effective at disaster preparedness planning and social events.

    Berkeley has not embraced geographic based community policing, the police dept has been reorganized in their operations towards geographic policing but the critical partnership with residents is not being developed. Commander coffee klatches is not a problem solving system. We tried for years to implement a model, lots of talk, and wasted time.

    I will post the date of the July Berkeley Safe Neighborhood Committee meeting once it is confirmed here in this thread. We will be discussing (once again) this problem and the need for resource development for the neighborhood watch program.

  • bgal4


    I have discussed  Berkeley apply for Weed and Seed grant to reduce gang control of  south Berkeley multiple times with city offiicials during 2 city managers and three police chiefs tenure . I was familiar with the program since my husband was the data analyst for west Oakland successful Weed and Seed grant. Lets not forgot Berkeley only officially admitted gang existence in 2009.

    ROC neighborhood group (beat 12) engaged in a  multi-year discussion with the police and city officials and demonstrated to Chief Hambleton there was enormous support for piloting a surveillance program that would monitor shooting hotspots along Sacramento St. In response to our demands that city move forward the chief sent the operation division Lt and Area Coordinators to observe the Fruitvale district program. They were very impressed and recognized immediately how to make use of these tools in our worst hotspots. The AC wrote reports based on best practices for technology use in crime prevention.

    In the end, NO progress.

  • ilovesouthberkeley

    One online neighborhood organizing tool. The site says that it verifies address so the people posting are really your neighbors. There is a group in South Berkeley for the area bordered by Ashby Ave on the South, Sacramento St on the West, Dwight Way on the North, and Shattuck Ave/Adeline St on the East. There may be groups in other neighborhoods as well, or people can start their own group in their own neighborhood.

  • bgal4

    “The cameras can be tilted, panned and zoomed from computers in the police headquarters.”

    actually cameras can be controlled from patrol car computers nearby the surveillance area.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    There is one forming for the McGee-Spaulding-Hardy District:  Dwight to University, MLK to Sacramento.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    PS on the origin of the district’s name:

  • Guest

    thanks for the info and contact. I live on San Pablo Park and this is getting ridiculous.

  • bgal4

    I am willing to meet with interested folks to discuss the barriers and options for implementing a citywide framework in support of neighborhood councils.

    I have asked the Berkeley Safe Neighborhood committee to give me 5 minutes on the upcoming July 2 agenda to report on past efforts and the city’s obstruction to improve neighborhood watch program and provide the resources that are needed for NW to be effective. I was a BSNC board member for 4 years, we tried to reform program failures but were blocked by city attorney and politicians.

    Consider this, why do you think residents have such a difficult time finding out who is the block captain, or chair of a neighborhood group? The former and current city attorney has determined that the city can not share contact information even with legal consent forms completed. They refused to provide the legal basis for such a ridiculous assertion.

    see how Seattle( Chief Meehan former employer)  crime prevention system is set up.

    I prefer Portland program and Oakland.

    If I had been elected in 2004 for district 3, this would have already happened along with a Weed and Seed grant application.

    I am truly frustrated with the complacency and waste of social capital in Berkeley. People want to do the right thing, but the powers that be are in the way of progress.

    I am considering running  against Max Anderson District 3 in the fall, mostly because I am sick of the neglect of south Berkeley. What exactly has he accomplished in 8 years?

    Laura Menard

  • concerned neighbor

    Thank you for all of your work and information regarding these issues – there are clearly many.  I am unable to follow up with your information or other’s recommended or posted at the moment, but I plan to get more involved when I have more availability in the next few days. Thanks again for everything you have shared here. 

  • anon2

    ps – I like the camera information mentioned below – it sounds like a good start in deterring crime – you can’t get away with much if you are on camera and subsequently in jail.

  • bgal4

     Your welcome.

  • anotherneighbor

     We actually have a very active citizens group on Acton Street right where the shooting occurred, and have been in touch with BPD and councilman Daryl Moore about what can be done to stem the violence.  For a while, there seemed to more patrol cars coming through the neighborhood, but that seems to have tapered off.  We definitely need a more permanent approach.  Thanks to everyone for posting suggestions on things that have worked in other neighborhoods.  Keep ’em coming . . .

  • Occupy Oregon and Acton!

    I concur, living near the corner there. The crime has gotten worse lately. A friend of a friend shot dead on Oregon near Sacramento about a month ago and now my friends garage door is shot up with children inside one hour after my daughter and I walked the dog right there! This is out of hand.

  • bgal4

    Yes, Acton has a group.

    Stanton Ave started up again, and Dohr St has a group.

    Problem is block based efforts have inherent limitations which are resolved in a neighborhood level framework. Beats align with police staffing so they can be a natural way to organize.

    Crime prevention councils organized by the beat review crime data and prioritize problem solving is shown to be an effective use of resources.

    This model  allows for the nuts and bolts of community policing minus the drama and distractions of reactive grip sessions.

    Patrolling does not take the place of  targeted enforcement actions which have been proven to reduce violent crime. What actions has the Acton group taken so far?

  • Haselstein

    Thanks so much for this. I inherited a neighborhood watch group years ago, which I expanded beyond our one block, but we always had the same few people, and I ended up being the person doing the work–not a good idea because of my dayjob.  It mainly served as a venue for seeing neighbors. I am certain that my neighbors will call the police, which seemed to be the main message of neighborhood watch. More recently, we had a couple of very small meetings with the police liaison to deal with an issue, and that was successful. (Note to self: we need to do emergency planning and training.)  A neighborhood-level approach makes far more sense, so I would be very interested in knowing how to help with that.

  • bgal4

    Great, I will keep folks informed of the possibility to implement this strategy.

    Imagine the gains for coordinating resources both from BFD disaster preparedness dept, city manager neighborhood services and BPD community services dept.

    In Oakland the BART police and housing authority rep attend meetings as needed.

    again the focus is on tracking city resolution of specific issues identified as priority matters by the resident representative group. Meetings are public, and representatives change annually thus sharing the volunteer work among the community.

    Instead of constantly reinventing the wheel and reacting after a violent incident, the community sets the agenda for improvement projects.  Accountability is inherent in the process since the group monitors progress until the project is completed.

  • Berkeleyfarm

    Poet’s Corner is in the house now.  Sacramento/University/Dwight/San Pablo

  • Berkeleyfarm

    Thanks, Laura, and please send info to B’side via email and the Events Calendar as well – this thread will drop off the front pages quickly. 

  • CTD

    Prohibit him from standing outside? I respectfully submit that that’s not the behavior which makes him a target.

  • bgal4

     yo mo fo

    when the kid on my corner got shot I warned him his mother would lose his apt if he did not stop the f… mess he was bring to this block. he did, he is alive, employed and a friend.

    unlike the rest of dead peers.

    btw I did not suggest the police be involved, so yeah, his family should take responsibility.

    we  can play dumb only so long but this sh.. ain’t a game, bullets kill.

    so no thanks to your idea of respect, because the thug life does not respect the values I live by.

  • Lilc600

    shut up please

  • Lilc600

    bquiet who cares this is the real world

  • Jacobbarn

    why will you call the police when it happends wow it be aliot of white people out standing around on coners drunk and bummy

  • Cracker

    wow you should really shut up please we dont care what you have to say you cracker

  • bgal4

     Explain your concept of the “real” world

    does it include the rest of us being hostage to ignorant, violent gangbangers and their drama?

  • bgal4

    NO I am not intimidated by ignorant racist.