Update: Police respond to shooting in West Berkeley

Image: Google Maps

Image: Google Maps

Berkeley Police responded to a drive-by shooting in the 2200 block of Bonar Street on Tuesday night, authorities said.

Residents reported hearing 6-12 gunshots in West Berkeley on Bonar at roughly 10:10 p.m.

Police officers in the area also heard the shots, and responded immediately to investigate, said Berkeley Police Lt. Randy Files. Police canvassed the neighborhood and took statements.

There were no reported injuries on site. Police informed local hospitals about the shooting but had not received any reports about potentially related victims as of midnight.

One resident said police found a .223-caliber bullet casing after a report of a suspicious person on the block. Residents as far away as Martin Luther King Jr. Way and University Avenue, and east of the North Berkeley BART station, said they heard the shots. About a dozen Berkeleyside readers quickly posted online or sent in emails about what they had heard.

Residents reported a heavy police response in the area during the investigation.

Tuesday night’s incident follows two confirmed reports of shootings in the 1500 block of Harmon Street, in South Berkeley, since Saturday night. The first incident, Saturday, left only property damage. But a shooting Monday night in the same block sent two teenagers to the hospital with gunshot wounds.

Police cleared the 2200 block of Bonar just before 11:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Two incidents reported on the scanner between 10:38 and 10:49 p.m. — including a car stop of a resident from the 2200 block of Bonar Street, and a vehicle fire on Interstate 80 — were unrelated to the shooting, said Files.

This story was updated shortly after midnight after speaking with the Berkeley Police Department watch commander.

Residents with information about the incident on Bonar can reach the Berkeley Police Department’s non-emergency line at 510-981-5900.

Update: 2 teens shot on Harmon Street in Berkeley (03.24.14)
Berkeley Police investigate drive-by shooting on Harmon (03.24.14)
Berkeley man shot Sunday night at Ashby Flea Market (12.02.13)
Shots fired early Saturday near West Berkeley park (11.02.13)
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)
3 people shot on Bonar Street, no life-threatening injuries (03.02.12)

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  • EBGuy

    guest said: There is only one building on the block with visible gang activity
    Awesome, now we’re making some progress. Which building? From what I can tell (admittedly, from afar) is that there are three possible candidates featuring: a San Francisco based landlord, a Hayward based landlord, and a Fremont based landlord.

  • Marco Bianchi

    and ………..

  • Bill N

    I heard the shots last night as well from just north of Hearst and Grant Streets. Really obvious it was a semi auto at that rate of fire. I wondered where it was.

  • EBGuy

    Clearly gentrification is happening here and your landlord is part of
    it. For better or worse, residents with more social capital can bring
    to bear pressure to help clean up the area where the dealing and gun
    toting is happening. The really long term resident on this thread
    indicates there is only one “problem building” with gang activity.
    Perhaps that landlord needs to be convinced with some sort of carrot to
    clean up (or sell) his building. If the carrot doesn’t work, then
    maybe the stick needs to be applied.
    Also, a lot of folks
    (including you) were throwing around the term “low income housing”. I
    had assumed that some of the buildings were owned by the city housing
    authority. They’re all in private hands, from what I can tell, and there
    appear to be some Section 8 renters. The other building your landlord owns has a mix of lower income and market rate tenants.
    …. anndddd… lastly, if I smell something really good while passing through the park, I may be forced to pop in unannounced. Just fair warning.

  • TN

    It looks like the property owners of the two problematic buildings dumped them.

    When there was a shooting incident there a couple of years ago, there was a neighborhood meeting.

    At the meeting, which I attended, the property owners promised action to help stem the problems. There were some impassioned people at the meeting arguing that the people who were causing problems didn’t actually live there. And in fact BPD recovered a vehicle in the parking lot behind the apartments which didn’t belong to any resident. So, to keep the outsiders away, the landlord made those commitments.

    There were other people who attended the meeting who felt that some of the tenants were deeply directly involved in causing the problems.

    I don’t know if he carried through with the promises he made. The automated gates on the driveway never seem to be operational when I walk by and I have no way of knowing whether the video surveillance was ever implemented.

    I don’t know what happened after the meeting, but I do know that without the cooperation of the landlords and the tenants, the problems did continue and will continue.

  • Marco Bianchi

    EBGuy, I totally agree that one solution would be to put pressure on the landlords of those buildings. I’ve been here almost 3 years. I saw some improvements in the buildings right next to where I live. However, I’m still convinced that most of the issues are caused by people from outside that think they can come in this block and do what they want unpunished (simply littering for example, not tallking about drug dealing if there is). Maybe a police car once in a while could be do some good

    …. and you’re more than welcome

  • guest

    Since I clearly mentioned that there are signs you can look out for to distinguish between people hanging out and street-level drug dealers that’s clearly not the case.

    Why reply to comments you clearly haven’t bothered to read? Why try so hard to deny the reality that these buildings and this area have been a blight on the neighborhood for decades?

  • KT

    I’m not sure, but one of the landlords came to the community meeting after the 2012 shooting incident (the 6 p.m. one that happened in the middle of a dice game in front of the apartments). He was a good guy and obviously not the problem.

  • just sayin

    Here’s the rap video shot on bonar recently. Lots of guns and gang activity featured:

  • Lizzietish

    I don’t think I fully understand the implications of the choices presented in that survey.

  • emraguso

    Story coming Thursday on the beat realignment process.

  • emraguso

    Actually Frankel is the lieutenant for the area and Rashawn Cummings is the area coordinator. You can reach him at

  • emraguso

    Just added several links to our past coverage of shootings in the area — to the bottom of the story, if anyone is interested. For what it’s worth, I know Councilman Moore is looking into the issue of graffiti in the area, and talking with city staff about the problem. We’re planning to get more information from him after he’s been debriefed.

  • emraguso

    The case I’m following in court right now also makes reference to some gang/violence related videos. An OPD officer testified that OPD checked with BPD about one of the videos, and that BPD was able to provide the names of many of the people in it. I thought that was interesting/reassuring that BPD has so much awareness, at least in that case, of who the “players” are.

  • bgal4

    Not if the neighborhood set the agenda and had a strategic plan.

  • Chris J

    I happily disseminate my opinions based on observation and conventional wisdom and ‘the odds’. This street has a run of seeming low-income housing. Obviously, not all people with low incomes or are socially disenfranchised are criminals–but a higher percentage of crime occurs in these areas. That’s all I got.

    Beyond that, as to why such an uptick in crime and shootings, I’m as clueless as anyone. Full moon?

  • Chris J

    But then, the law abiding people (and there are plenty, I assure you) would have no place to live.

  • Chris J

    The google camera cars afraid to go in the area?

  • Chris J

    Please excuse me for constantly saying this, but I’ve become my father now at 60. Berkeley is still a great place to live if you’ve got a decent job and income and friends and family to rely on, but what with shootings only a few blocks from my home, three murders within a mile of my home within the past year (two near the corner of San Pablo and Delaware), the crumbling streets that make bike riding a shaking nightmare, the increasing costs of living in these United States, etc. is it any wonder that retirees or near-retirees are considering jumping ship and moving to other countries to live out the rest of their lives in balmier, more tropical climes where–most importantly–they might generally feel safer and have their $$ stretch a lot further?

  • JW

    Tell him that his constituents are tired of him doing NOTHING about this. I have been asking him to deal with the problem for YEARS. He lives on Channing, right around the corner from the park and the problem property. You’d think he’d take a more active stance on something that is literally in his backyard.

  • Mr. S

    Have you considered any other American cities? From what I’ve seen of Oregon or even the extreme Northern parts of California there are still some inexpensive (relatively speaking) and quite nice parts of the West Coast you could consider.

  • EBGuy

    Anyone know if there was a beefed up police presence for the School Board meeting around the corner last night?

  • Brea

    I agree. In the comment section I advised that the survey -as written – is NOT going to constructively conclude anything about beat restructure -yet alone attempt to measure any true responses. First, I think the survey is only available online – and very few citizens seem to know about it -and second, what type of outreach is planned by this “survey firm” to pull a true sample population to measure. C’mon this is basic undergrad statistical measurement stuff.

  • Brea

    I’ve been a resident for over 25 years. No, barriers aren’t the answers here…. It’s the absentee property owners that allow the activity that don’t live anywhere near the areas -that collect market rate rents – and subsidized rents. It’s the rules, codes and regulations that have been on the books for 50+ years that need reformation – and a city council that really and truly “want” to drive change.

  • John Freeman

    I agree. In the comment section I advised that the survey -as written –
    is NOT going to constructively conclude anything about beat structure

    The process of manufacturing consent doesn’t require an accurate or particularly meaningful survey unless the press is paying sharply critical attention to what government does.

  • emraguso

    The story on the new police beat reevaluation is posted here:

    If you have specific questions on that, it would be great if you can put them in the comments over there. We’ll certainly continue to follow the process and will be speaking with police about it for more context in the near future.

  • guest

    You got that right.

  • Chris J

    We considered other parts of the country at times in the past, but the cost of living in those places really wasn’t a great improvement. For instance, in the Philippines property tax, nationally charged, is only a couple of hundred dollars–a year. Living expenses, including a live-in maid or houseboy can easily be handled with an income of $1000 to $1500 a month, depending (not counting rent or possible mortgage payments). Nowhere in the states can you find that kind of low living cost. Plus there’s the general tropical climate which I prefer. Not that living in the Bay Area weatherwise isn’t pleasant.

  • Chris

    If you see 5+ wsb or h20 dudes hanging out midblock on Bonar I GUARANTEE that at least 1 of em will have something illegal to sell you.

  • Chris

    Exactly. It’s not about some meeting with police or politicians, it’s about the neighbors organizing and doing something.

  • emraguso

    The cases are still under investigation and police are asking the community for help. Sounds like patrols have been increased, along with having other types of officers in the area, too. Story here:

  • guest
  • emraguso

    If you’ve been seeing any signs of improvement at Strawberry Creek Park, here’s why:

    But, if not, we hope you’ll let us know.

  • E

    My neighbor was driving in front of those apartments about a year ago and saw someone standing in the middle of the road with a rifle of some kind. She quickly turned down a side street and sped away.