Suspect stabs 2, sets house on fire on Harmon Street


Berkeley police and fire responded to a stabbing incident followed by a fire on Harmon Street on Jan. 29. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Update, Jan. 13, 2015: Berkeleyside followed this case through to Lamb’s sentencing. Our update on the details of this court case, including witness testimony about the double stabbing and the arson that killed a Chihuahua puppy named Midnight, can be found here.

Update, Jan. 30, 2013, 2:45 p.m.: The suspect in the stabbing case is 50-year-old Victor Lamb. Lamb, who had an outstanding warrant for his arrest unrelated to this event, was arrested at the scene and is being charged with two counts of attempted murder, domestic violence, violation of a court order and resisting a police officer, according to the Berkeley Police Department. He is also being charged with animal cruelty as he left a dog in the house at 1409 Harmon St. after setting it on fire, and the dog died.

Update, Jan. 30, 2013, 12:35 p.m.: The victims of the Jan. 29 stabbings were a 70-year-old female and a 20-year-old male, according to BPD. They were both treated at local hospitals and the male victim has been released. However the female victim is still currently being treated for her injuries. The crime is currently under investigation.

Original story: Berkeley police responded Tuesday to a report at 4:02 p.m. of a stabbing in the 1400 block of Harmon Street, between Sacramento Street and San Pablo Avenue, in south Berkeley.

According to Sgt. Joe Okies of the Berkeley Police Department, two stabbing victims were taken to the hospital. Their condition is currently unknown.

The suspect in the stabbings barricaded himself into the house where the incident took place, according to Okies. Berkeley police negotiators were called to the scene. In the negotiations, the suspect threatened to burn the house down. Flames were seen coming from the house.


The house at 1409 Harmon, which a man set on fire. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Police then saw the suspect attempting to flee the house from the back, but he was apprehended without incident at 4:44 p.m. The Berkeley Fire Department responded to the fire, which was quickly controlled. During the incident, the street was closed down and the area was contained. A neighbor  reported seeing police “standing with guns drawn all around the outside the house.”

Sgt. Okies said a significant number of resources were at the scene of the crime.

According to Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong, the fire was confined to the front of the house. He estimated it caused $50,000 worth of damage to the house.

Neither the suspect nor the stabbing victims were identified by the police at time of publication.

Man sentenced to 15 years in Berkeley double stabbing, arson that killed puppy (01.13.15)

Want to get breaking news, including about crimes, quickly? Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter and download the free Berkeleyside iPhone app.

Print Friendly
Tagged , , , , ,
Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comments policy »
  • dsd510

    I saw three helicopters in the area when walking home from work today, was wondering what was going on and couldn’t find any info online until seeing this – thanks for the quick reporting!

  • You’re welcome.

  • esh06

    Surprisingly no coverage on the other fires within the city. Interesting

  • jth

    This happened on my block, I watched it from start to finish. There were five fire trucks and at least 20 squad cars. Not to mention a trio of camo-clad SWAT types who showed up at the end, looking like they had just parachuted in from Baghdad. I was glad to live in Berkeley–if this happened two blocks south I suspect the “number of resources” would be quite a bit lower.

  • iicisco

    Another day in the neighborhood.

  • bgal4

    That was what my neighbor and I said to each other when the sirens screamed down Sacramento St. I knew it was more than just a fire, so many cop cars.

  • bgal4

    Do you know the folks that live there?

  • EarlyMorningCoffee

    To be clear, Harmon ends at Idaho, not San Pablo, and this event took place between Sacramento and Baker.

  • You are, of course, correct. Thank you for pointing that out. We used the main cross streets so that readers would have a broad understanding of the area.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    Five fire trucks? 20 squad cars? Doesn’t that seem a little out of proportion?

  • bingo

    is this what all the helicopters were about this evening? I’m starting to not even notice them anymore, they are so irritatingly everpresent (like my neighbor’s bass)

  • guest

    proud of a paramilitary response to a domestic violence call?!? is this a joke?!?

  • iicisco

    Are you implying the parties involved were a couple, or in some soft of romantic relationship?

  • Harmon Street girl

    Hardly, clearly you don’t live on this block like i do.

  • bgal4

    Clearly you are new to the neighborhood.

  • Harmon Street girl


  • Harmon Street girl

    And yes.

  • jth

    Since I actually live in the neighborhood in question (do you?), yes, I’m glad that the city takes the high crime rates over here seriously. I’d rather they erred high than erred low.

  • jth

    The guy stabbed two people then took off into the neighborhood. Then barricaded himself in somebody’s house, threatened to light it on fire, and then actually did light it on fire, with unknown others and pets inside.

    But no, you’re right, a couple of officers plus a social service worker would have been just fine.

  • bgal4

    Was the home he invaded occupied or did he break in?

  • bgal4

    Are you sure about that? I have lived here for over 35 years, and rarely have I heard anyone claim the city is proactive or serious about the south end crime problem.

  • bgal4

    without divulging names, what happened then.

  • TN

    Domestic violence calls are often situations which get out of control.

    In this case though the suspect had already stabbed two people and started a fire, BPD contained the situation, did not have to fire their guns and caught the suspect without further injury to anyone.

    They did a good job.

  • Jessy

    Last night a car was set on fire on 66th and Herzog, just a few blocks away. Any relationship?

  • iicisco

    Nope. Call up Oakland.

  • john doe

    yall don’t know that nigga like I do u going 2 need 20 police cars and 2 swat teams 2 get him Berkeley just got lucky cause he was still there if he fled they had nothing coming im his cousin I know this aint nothing new

  • emraguso