Man dies after shooting in West Berkeley

The man who was shot Sunday evening collapsed on the sidewalk in front of this house. Photo: Emilie Raguso.

The man who was shot Sunday evening collapsed on the sidewalk in front of this house. Photo: Emilie Raguso

A man in his 20s was shot twice in the chest in West Berkeley around 5:40 p.m. Sunday, and has died of his wounds, according to friends and neighbors.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats confirmed at 9:30 p.m. that there had been shooting, that the victim was taken to the hospital, and that he was pronounced dead after he arrived there. She said police were still at Eighth and Camelia, where officers were canvassing for evidence and speaking with witnesses. Homicide detectives were on scene, and the roadway on Eighth south of Camelia remains closed off during the investigation, she said. She said police are not releasing any further details at this time.

The man, who is reported to have attended Berkeley High School, was said by several who knew him to be visiting friends in an apartment near Eighth and Camelia just before the shooting. Neighborhood residents said he was shot near a church on Camelia, then ran through an alley onto Page Street west of Eighth. He ran to a neighbor’s door to ask for help, but then collapsed on the ground, according to witnesses. The victim called out, “Help me, somebody, help me,” according to a woman who came across him on her way to the grocery store, but asked not to be named. “He looked so scared,” she said.

Berkeley police said they chased down suspects to two locations, one on Kains and Gilman Street and one on Eighth Street near Camelia. Shortly after 8 p.m., a Berkeley Police officer said one person had been detained, and police were still at both Kains Avenue, north of Gilman, and Eighth, south of Camelia, where suspects were believed by police to have been cornered.

The victim, whose identity has not been released officially but whom many in the neighborhood said was a long-time resident in his 20s with two children, was taken to an area hospital. Two different friends of his received calls just before 8 p.m. that the man had died.

Neighbors said they had seen the man running, and heard more than 10 gunshots before the victim collapsed. They said the neighborhood is normally a calm place.

Police taped off the street while they investigate a shooting in West Berkeley on Sunday. Photo: Emilie Ragus0

Police taped off the street while they investigated a shooting in West Berkeley on Sunday. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Other neighbors said the violence was the result of a lack of jobs or meaningful programs for young men to help keep them out of trouble. One friend of the victim said that, due to a lack of economic opportunities, many young residents are forced to “hustle” to make a living, which can lead to problems.

He described the neighborhood as close-knit, and said he’d just seen the victim the prior night. He described the victim as “a jokester” and “a good-hearted dude” with two children, adding that “everybody’s got their ways of doing things, but we all do what we gotta do to survive.” Some in the neighborhood have turned to dealing drugs to pay their utility bills or help support their families, he said. “Everybody has a dream but it doesn’t always work out how they planned.”

“Either they’re doing something to each other, or police are doing something to them,” said another man, Todd Walker, who lives in the area. Though homicides aren’t common in the neighborhood, he said, “If it’s one, it’s too many.”

Walker, who works at a funeral home, said it’s tough to be in the position of “getting this end where we have to bury them.” He said he recalled five young men over the last four months who have been shot. “There’s no programs for these kids,” he continued.

Thursday’s shooting is Berkeley’s fourth homicide of the year. On Aug. 1, 24-year-old Dustin Bynum was shot and killed outside Bing’s Liquors in the 1800 block of San Pablo Ave. On Feb. 4, Zontee Jones was shot on Delaware Street, across San Pablo Avenue less than a block away from Bing’s Liquors. Jevon Calland and Maurice Thomas Jr. have been charged with murder in that case.

On July 17, Jermaine Davis was shot and killed on Derby Street near Martin Luther King Jr. Way. No one has been arrested in that case.

In 2010, Berkeley Police shot and killed a man they said pulled a gun on them at the same apartment complex on Eighth that police had cordoned off Sunday night. The man had been chased into Berkeley by Albany Police officers at roughly 11 p.m. Authorities said he got out from his car on San Pablo Avenue near Jones Street, and ran a few blocks to Eighth and Camelia. After he pulled a weapon, a sergeant and veteran officer from the Berkeley Police Department opened fire, authorities said.

[Editor’s Note: This story developed throughout the evening and was updated multiple times as more information became available.]

Police identify Berkeley shooting victim (08.05.13)
24-year-old man dies after Berkeley shooting (08.01.13)
Berkeley homicide suspect arrested in San Diego (07.26.13)
Murdered man was brother of man killed by gangs in 2009 (07.18.13)
Breaking: Man shot and killed on Derby Street in Berkeley (07.17.13)
2 men named in Berkeley murder case; details emerge (06.19.13)
Berkeley police make arrest in Zontee Jones murder (06.08.13)
West Berkeley neighbors ask for answers after homicide (02.20.13)
Berkeley police make arrests related to two Berkeley homicides (02.14.13)
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)

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  • oceanview neighbor

    That link is worthless. It cites “immigrants” and states stats vary greatly among different areas. TROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • guest

    Just click on the name and you’ll see it’s the same person. Who now seems to be making veiled threats of cyberstalking.

  • Berkeley Neighbor

    LOL. Please. You self-important wags are constantly entertaining yourselves by throwing around epithets like “corrupt,” or “incompetent,” or “criminal.” Then someone reminds you of your own words and it’s… more pearl clutching.

    Nice spine.


  • Berkeley Neighbor

    Your buddy Sharkey thinks this decline is due to a “national trend” and has nothing to do with local efforts.

  • Berkeley Neighbor

    So as it turns out, your impression that “Maio and Moore largely ignore Berkeley West of San Pablo” was based upon your own ignorance of past events. Your friend bgal4 claims that the decrease in gun incidents in South Berkeley is due to her efforts as a community organizer, not a “national trend,” as you claim. And, since you apparently can find the real data, your assertion that Berkeley experiences “a half-dozen murders per year,” was intentional hyperbole to make the city look scarier than it actually is.

    What was the basis of your argument again?

  • bgal4

    Not mutually exclusive. Sharkey is 100% accurate about the national trend, and is also 100% accurate that organizing for environmental control of the sources of violent crime in locales brings positive results.

  • The_Sharkey

    One and the same. A Berkeley Daily Planet junkie and T. Lord fan.
    think “Julie” is lying when he/she says they’re new to commenting on
    Berkeleyside. They sound a lot like a few other posters from not too
    long ago that also sought to silence posters who held opinions he/she
    did not like.

  • The_Sharkey

    No, as it turns out Maio and Moore only REACT after murders or severe violence occur. They are rarely proactive about anything, particularly the crime West of San Pablo.
    You may care so little about life that three or four murders per year are fine by your accounting, but I won’t be satisfied with the decline in murder rates until there are ZERO murders per year.

  • The_Sharkey

    It’s always nice when trolls like “Berkeley Neighbor” out themselves with posts like this. It saves me the hassle.

  • Berkeley Neighbor

    Uh-huh. And what are you personally doing mitigate violence in Berkeley? And I mean apart from your work anonymously excoriating the blacks on the intertubes.


  • Berkeley Neighbor

    LOL. Saves you the hassle, but you simply can’t help yourself but jump on to have the last word and upvote your own post.

    C’mon, one more! Plainly, you have LOTS of time on your hands.


  • The_Sharkey

    Yeah, right, after years of protecting my identity I’m totally going to tell a crank like you what I do in the community so that you can track me down. That’s totally a sensible thing that there would be no reason for me to not do.

  • Berkeley Neighbor



  • The_Sharkey

    I’d rather be “paranoid” than have a brick lobbed through my window by someone like you who pretends to be at least somewhat reasonable at first but eventually turns out to just be one of the same old nuts.

    This back-and-forth is getting boring, and I don’t want to clutter up the comments on this article with pointless exchanges with you any more. I look forward to your continued needling on the next subject we butt heads on.

  • JW

    Three kids.

  • bgal4

    thx for the correction

  • Chris J

    I note withi wry amusement that the more egregious trolls ain’t touching you on this comment, probably because it puts their other comments into a much worse perspective.

    What do we know? At least three black males have died here in Berkeley, all of whom have been violently killed within half a mile of my home; less than three blocks away in two of the cases. Black-on-black murders? Seems that way…statistically. Damn it, I’m really tired of people doing stupid, stupid things.

  • emraguso

    Authorities have announced arrests and charges related to this case: