Man shot dead in Berkeley, first homicide of 2013

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Berkeley police’s crime scene van near the site of the shooting on Delaware Street. Photo: Emilie Raguso

By Lance Knobel and Emilie Raguso

Update, Feb. 5: The name of the victim of the Feb. 4 fatal shooting on Delaware Street has not been released by authorities, but in an article in the Oakland Tribune he was identified as 34-year-old Zontee Jones. Jones’ girlfriend, Teena Alexander, told reporter Doug Oakley that the slain man lived in Berkeley and Richmond, and worked as a maintenance man at her apartment building on Delaware.

Update 4:29 p.m. Police have released a statement indicating that the victim suffered from multiple gunshot wounds. He was 34. His name has not been released by police “out of respect for those family or friends that still need to be notified of his passing.”

Police ask witnesses with information about this incident to call the department’s homicide detail at 510-981-5741, or the department’s non-emergency number, 510-981-5900. Tipsters who wish to  remain anonymous can call the Bay Area Crimes Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).


Update 2:55 p.m. A man was shot and killed at around 11 a.m. Monday on Delaware Street just west of San Pablo Avenue.

According to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley police and Albany paramedics responded to multiple calls starting at 11:08 a.m. reporting shots fired at 1080 Delaware. When police arrived, they found a man who had been shot at least once. Coats said no one was in custody and that the victim’s identity had not been released.

The victim was taken to Highland Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to Coats, Berkeley police are on the scene collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses. Delaware had been blocked off with crime tape at both San Pablo and 10th Street.

“We have had reports that people were seen running from the area,” Coats said. “They’re still trying to figure out if they were involved in the incident.”


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A shooting around 11 a.m. on Monday morning occurred near the intersection of Delaware and San Pablo

Update 2 p.m. Another witness told Berkeleyside that she saw the victim turn right from San Pablo and walk west on Delaware. He was with another young man, who was wearing a red jacket. She then heard a “pop, pop,” sound.

“I made a comment, ‘That’s not a firecracker,” she said. “And then we heard people screaming, ‘Where’s the police? Where’s the ambulance?'”

She and others nearby went over to try to help calm the scene until police arrived. Young people were crowded around the victim and she reminded them to try to move the victim as little as possible. She said she called police twice, and saw many others on their phones also trying to get through to emergency personnel.

“In a situation like that,” the witness said, “seconds seem like forever. It seemed like forever before [the police] got here.”

She described the scene as “horrible, heart-wrenching.” “He was just a kid. What a waste,” she said.


A crime scene tech photographs items at the scene of Monday's shooting. Photo: Emilie Raguso
A crime scene tech photographs items at the scene of Monday’s shooting. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Update 1:40 p.m. Berkeleyside spoke to a witness who was nearby at the time of the shooting. The witness, who asked not to be identified, said he heard a “pop, pop, pop,” and saw a man who he believes was the victim running east on Delaware.

When the witness got closer, he saw the victim lying by a car in front of 1080 Delaware. A number of people were yelling, “Oh, they shot him! Oh, they killed him!” The witness described the victim as a black man who appeared to be in his 20s. The witness said that shortly after the sounds of shooting, he saw a car drive away east on Delaware, but he wasn’t sure if it was related.

This morning’s shooting is the first homicide of the year in Berkeley. In 2012, there were five homicides in the city.

Berkeleyside will update the story as details emerge. This story was originally posted at 1:07 p.m.

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