Police make arrests related to 2 Berkeley homicides

Photo: Emilie Raguso

A tea light display at the site of a memorial for Zontee Jones, who was killed earlier this month in west Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso

The Berkeley Police Department has confirmed that an arrest has been made following the fatal shooting of Zontee Jones on Feb. 4.

Details, however, were scant. Police declined to provide information about the arrest, such as the identity of the person who was arrested, or what the arrest was for.

“I can’t release anything other than (that) an arrest was made,” said Officer Stephanie Polizziani, a police spokeswoman, via email. “To maintain the integrity of their investigation, I can’t release any other details at this point.”

Jones was shot just after 11 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 4, on Delaware Street just west of San Pablo Avenue.

“The Homicide Detectives are working long hours following up on several leads,” said Polizziani on Wednesday.

Last week, Berkeley Police administrators for the first time reported an arrest in connection with a late 2012 homicide — the death of Mark Stannard, whose body was discovered in October — although more details were not forthcoming.

Police had previously announced arrests in the deaths of Peter Cukor and Devin Lee Whitmire, two of the five homicides in Berkeley in 2012. No arrests had been reported in connection with the killings of Kenneth WarrenPam Mullins or Stannard.

During a Feb. 5 presentation to the City Council regarding the department’s annual crime report, police said an arrest had been made in January in Stannard’s killing, and that just two of the city’s 2012 homicides are “still open.”

Stannard’s body was found in October, but police did not announce that his death had been deemed a homicide until December. The publication of the annual crime report, and subsequent presentation to council, was the only indication that progress had been made in the investigation.

Police said, after last week’s council meeting, that the investigation was continuing and that, despite the arrest, the case was not yet “fully closed.”

Polizziani said Wednesday that police do not plan to release any information about that arrest at this time.

“Detectives are still following up on leads in this case as well,” she said, via email. “In order to not compromise any of their work thus far, we have no updated information to release.”

Police Chief Michael Meehan said Tuesday night that, generally speaking, police can — during the course of their investigations — make arrests of people, on warrants or other violations, who are not directly responsible for a crime such as a homicide, but may have information about the incident or may be related in another way.

Police name Zontee Jones as year’s first Berkeley homicide [02.06.13]
Man shot dead in Berkeley, first homicide of 2013 [02.04.13]
City of Berkeley offers reward to find ‘Cowboy’ killer [12.20.12]

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  • Fran Haselsteiner

    Great work, BPD. Thank you.

  • Apthorp

    How does anyone know this is great work by the BPD when its standard policy of not releasing names or details places the public in the regrettable position of trusting them without question? So, someone has been arrested-BPD won’t say who, nor will it say what the arrested person is charged with-I don’t know about you, but this Big Brother attitude of stonewalling information doesn’t make me feel any safer on the streets of Berkeley. Why announce an arrest? To make BPD look good? Very reassuring.

  • Tracie L

    I Agree With You Apthorp ! BPD Knows The Family Deserves Closure!!

  • da1nonly

    that’s crazy cuz i feel like if u have a person in custody a gun in the girlfriends grandparents house knowing who the gunmen suppose to be. how come he’s not in jail nor his girlfriend nor her mother but BPD has the cousin and the weapon supposivley. I don’t get it. How hard is it to catch the little punk that took ZLee away from us all. We would like to get some justice from this it cant end up being another unsolved murder case come on BPD.