Shots fired early Saturday near West Berkeley park

Shots were fired after police responded to Strawberry  Creek Park in central Berkeley for reports of a gun early Saturday morning. Image: Google Maps
Shots were fired after police responded to Strawberry Creek Park in Berkeley for reports of a gun early Saturday morning. Image: Google Maps

The sound of numerous gunshots early Saturday morning woke Berkeley residents around University Avenue and Bonar Street shortly before 1 a.m., leaving many with questions about what had happened.

Berkeley Police Lt. Dave Frankel said a caller near Strawberry Creek Park had reported a group of males in the park who were talking about a gun.

Police responded to Strawberry Creek to investigate whether there was a weapon and to enforce the park’s operating hours. (It closes at 10 p.m.)

When police arrived, many of the people in the park fled, said Frankel. Police detained a small group of them, but ultimately released them with citations related to being in the park after dark because no weapon was found and no other violations were noted.


Police believe one member of that group may then have gotten into a late 90s four-door silver Honda and drove off. As he drove, the driver stuck a gun out of the window and fired shots into the air.

An officer who was arriving on scene as the driver was firing into the air began to chase the driver along Seventh Street to Parker. The officer ceased pursuit of the vehicle, as it approached Ashby at nearly 100mph, in the interest of public safety.

No one was injured as a result of the shooting, no accidents took place, and officers recovered shell casings at the scene.

The investigation is on-going, said Frankel.

He said police have identified Strawberry Creek Park as an area that is occasionally frequented by Berkeley-based gang members, and that there are often gang-related graffiti and tags marking the area.

Related:
Berkeley residents tackle safety issues after shootings (03.21.12)
Community meeting called in wake of Berkeley shootings (03.13.12)
Three men shot, wounded early Sunday in West Berkeley (03.05.12)
Three people shot on Bonar St., no life-threatening injuries (03.02.12)

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