2 teens shot at West Berkeley hotel party

Police responded to a shooting at La Quinta on Saturday, June 7. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Police responded to a shooting at La Quinta hotel in West Berkeley on Saturday, June 7. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Update, June 8, 1 a.m. Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats confirmed that two teenage juvenile boys were shot at La Quinta on Saturday night.

She said she could not comment on their injuries due to medical privacy laws, but said the wounds did not appear to be life threatening. Both were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Police have not located a third gunshot victim, though one initially had been reported. Authorities have asked area hospitals to alert the Berkeley Police Department if they become aware of one.

[Update, June 8, 5:40 p.m.: Police said they ultimately determined there were two victims total at La Quinta on Saturday night. There was no update in their conditions available on Sunday afternoon.]

Coats said there is limited suspect information to release, but that police are looking for a white sedan that left eastbound on University Avenue from the La Quinta parking lot.

Officers worked the crime scene, canvassed the area and are interviewing witnesses and following up on leads.

The Berkeley Police Department asks anyone with information about the shooting to call 510-981-5900.  Callers who wish to remain anonymous can reach Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Update, June 8, 12:14 a.m. According to dispatchers, speaking to officers over the scanner, police received three calls reporting trouble at La Quinta on Saturday night.

Police investigate a shooting at La Quinta on June 7. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Police investigate a shooting at La Quinta on June 7. Photo: Emilie Raguso

The first call came in shortly before 9 p.m. reporting that some uninvited guests were trying to crash a quinceañera party in the community room at La Quinta. Shortly before 11 p.m., a hotel employee called police to report a fight among guests in the same area.

Several minutes later, police received a third call regarding possible gunshots at the hotel.

Police did recover shell casings in the parking lot in front of La Quinta. Police remain on scene at the hotel.

Police responded to a shooting at La Quinta on June 7. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Police responded to a shooting at La Quinta on June 7. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Berkeleyside is on scene at La Quinta waiting to speak with the Berkeley Police Department for confirmation. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Original story, 11:18 p.m. Berkeley authorities responded to Eighth Street and University Avenue in West Berkeley shortly before 11 p.m. and found two gunshot victims.

According to unconfirmed scanner traffic, one person had been shot in the face and one person had been shot in the leg. Both were taken by ambulance to a local hospital for medical treatment.

Police on the sidewalk at La Quinta. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Police on the sidewalk at La Quinta. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Authorities received a report of a third person who had been shot in the chest, but had not located anyone matching that description as of 11:15 p.m. They planned to call local hospitals to see if that person had gotten to the hospital in some other way, according to the scanner.

One local resident in the area reported on Twitter hearing “five or more rounds … fired in sporadic but very rapid succession.”

Police found a gun dumped in a garbage can behind La Quinta hotel at 920 University Ave. [Update, June 8, 4:30 p.m. Police found two replica firearms behind La Quinta, but did not recover any real weapons at the scene.]

Police searched the hotel to clear it for other victims.

Berkeleyside is heading to the scene and will confirm details with police as soon as they are available.

This story was updated as more information became available.

Gang violence, drug use, graffiti spark renewed push to clean up West Berkeley park (04.18.14)
Berkeley Police on 3 recent shootings: ‘Responding to these incidents is our top priority’ (03.28.14)
Update: Police respond to shooting in West Berkeley (03.25.14)
Update: 2 teens shot on Harmon Street in Berkeley (03.24.14)
Berkeley Police investigate drive-by shooting on Harmon (03.24.14)
3 years after killing, Berkeley family still seeking justice (03.10.14)
Victim reports shooting in Berkeley, details scant (02.28.14)

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  • Sigh


  • guest

    Good thing the perp didn’t use a knife or these kids would probably be dead.

  • ilovesouthberkeley

    My guess based on very limited info is that this was BABA$ related, one of our other local Berkeley High School/Longfellow middle school gangs, who have been engaged in many fights recently. I don’t have the full story this time, far from it, but I did hear that one the youth shot was an African-American male teen with friends in BABA$. I wish him a speedy recovery.

  • BerkeleyGardener

    Would love some follow up with the BPD on the 5 shots fired on Telegraph about an hour later. I was one of the people who called that in. I can’t help but think that it’s related. Scary either way.

  • bgal4

    thanks, could you spell out BABA$

    I am guessing one of the B stands for Berkeley, and symbol $ is obvious, but do you know what gang name stands for?

  • WSB is a good guess since it was a quiceañera party.

  • SirReal

    Baba Wawa?

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  • ilovesouthberkeley

    Sorry, no idea where the name came from. Urban dictionary suggests it is a slang for “someone special”, but I have no idea if that is the meaning they are using, or where they got the name. I do know that the kids at BHS know them as “the babas.” I’ve asked some kids I know if that could just be a name they call themselves, and am told that everyone knows they are a gang. The babas have been involved in a lot of fights lately, but my above post, as I said, is really just a guess.

  • GillianBagwell

    If that’s a hotel, I’m the queen of France! “Motel” is the word you’re looking for.

  • ninja cat

    And you still send you cop gang to harass the homeless and you got teens getting shot. And let me guess no leads but you still won’t leave the homeless alone whom are not hurting anyone

  • emraguso

    I believe it’s actually a hotel.

  • emraguso

    I’ll check today with BPD.

  • bgal4

    and when the officers doing gang monitoring (De La Luna and Polizziani) are in during the week could you get them on record about this new gang, Baba ?

  • B2B

    GillianBagwell, there is a distinct difference between motel and hotel, apparently you are not aware of that.

  • Mr. Grumpy

    What’s WSB? West Side Berkeley? Are we talking Surenos & Nortenos? Or just locals?

  • emraguso

    We have requested multiple times to speak with BPD about gangs in Berkeley — so far, no dice.
    As for the loud reports, police said today that from what they could tell, the reports were unfounded, and were likely fireworks.

  • emraguso

    Police said Sunday that currently there is no indication as to whether or not this was gang related. Either the motive is not known or they’re not releasing it publicly.

  • Dick Cheney

    Vice presidentially so.

  • Surprised

    Can you please explain how they refuse to answer? Do they not respond? Or give an excuse? Or…?

  • Gangs in Berkeley, mooo

    West side Berkeley is the locally grown, organically farmed, prison to table branch of the nortenos.

  • sageb1

    The myopics of calling a group of criminal youths a gang leads to the same kind of labeling on “loose” women, though it is harder to shame youths who think they are in a gang when they aren’t.

    It leads to things like scapegoating and witch hunts.

    Ergo “Baba$” is a loose collective of anti-establishment Hispanic youths who defy the law because of disenfranchisement from the status quo.

  • emraguso

    It’s on the list of things to do. They say they are looking into it. In all fairness, I have probably at least five BPD stories to do (at least) — which they have provided info to me on — so we all have more to do than we have time for. BPD has been helpful in responding to numerous requests. But I’ve just never been able to close the loop on this one. So, it’s still pending. I know I made that request in September, October and November of 2013, and February 2014.

  • ilovesouthberkeley

    I know that it’s PC in Berkeley to call groups of young people who self-identify as gangs “groups” instead of “gangs.” I don’t understand your point about shaming, however. I don’t think that they need to be shamed, but rather that they deserve the adults in their lives, at BUSD if nowhere else, to intervene in these real issues. I feel like the collective silence of Berkeley and BUSD, although good intentioned, makes things worse. I want what’s best for these youth, and while we politely avoid the issue, another generation of our youth keep getting recruited into the gang culture and lifestyle. I do agree with your last sentence, except that the Babas/Baba$ are a group of African-American, not Latino, youth, not that this is at all relevant to this point.

  • nig

    how do you know it wasn’t homeless people with guns?

  • B2B

    How incredibly expected from the the usual PC Tribalist movement that appears to comprise the “Berkeley mindset”. Jesus. I’ve been here my entire life, half a century long now, and I find this comment by sageb1 almost laughable. Except that’s how our hive mentality mindset seems to work here.

    Okay, reality check: There are gangs in Berkeley. Real ones. Gangs that shoot people. They’re not disenfranchised groups of youths, they are gangs. Just like in Oakland, Richmond and elsewhere.

    We have no idea whether this BABA$ “group” is responsible, or whether it’s WSB or Nortenos. Guessing, however, whether they’re a group or a gang, they were pretty serious about trying to kill someone(s).

    Wake up.

    [This comment has been moderated. -Eds.]

  • B2B

    I beg to differ with you: it’s not BUSD’s responsibility to intervene on the issues that are on topic right now. BUSD’s responsibility is to educate Berkeley’s youth and intervene when they misbehave in under BUSD’s umbrella. 11 p.m. on a Saturday night on lower University isn’t in BUSD’s responsibility.

  • Joe Biden

    “If you want to protect yourself, get a double barreled shotgun!”

  • BUSD Mom of 3

    Very sad for the 15 year old girl, her friends, and family. Not the celebration they’ll want to remember…

  • ilovesouthberkeley

    Some BHS students are going to school tomorrow knowing that one of their classmates was shot. ( I don’t know anything about the other victim.) While I don’t think that BUSD is responsible for babysitting all of it’s students on Saturday nights, I do think that some sort of intervention through the schools is our best hope to reach the kids involved in the violence, and just pretending that gangs are not an issue doesn’t seem to be working so far.

  • preferrous

    because a gun costs a helluvalot more than shelter does?

  • preferrous

    guns cost more than housing, duh.

  • preferrous

    for crying out loud.

    do you think the dead people, or their families, care about this hairsplit?

  • preferrous

    > Would love some follow up with the BPD on the 5 shots fired on Telegraph about an hour later.

    No, if you do that they’ll call you a LEAKER, sue you, and then stop interacting with the taxpayers who employ them. This is burkley, after all.

  • preferrous

    You will be labeled a LEAKER.

  • preferrous

    > so far, no dice

    They won’t even talk to their oversight board; why did you think you’d be treated differently?

  • preferrous

    > Can you please explain how they refuse to answer?

    They call you a LEAKER, and then they sue you.

  • guest

    Your funny, sageb1!

  • guest

    “West Side Boys” and it’s not a “branch” of the Nortenos. It’s simply that any Latino “set” in Northern California would owe it’s allegiance to Nortenos if the situation dictated.

    You make it sound like we have an active Nortenos affiliate in Berkeley. We do not. As you note, it’s a local youth gang.

  • Surprised

    I’ve now read the same comment from you at least five times in this thread. Do you have something constructive to contribute?

  • TN

    I agree that there’s no visible evidence that our local Nortenos identified group is tied to larger hard core gangs like the Nuestra Familia. From what I’ve seen in my neighborhood, WSB appears to be a purely local group.

    But I do find the term “youth gang” to be misleading. While many of people hanging out with the group are young middle school, high school age, some of the players are adults in their 20’s and some in their 30’s. They are not just hanging out. They do commit crimes and carry guns.

  • Adrian Reynolds

    Ship the homeless of Berkeley out to the Farallons 1 way…

  • Adrian Reynolds

    Babar will not stand for his magnificent and kind soul being dragged into this Berkeley gang violence…

  • TN

    I think you misunderstand my point. Of course WSB call themselves “Nortenos.” It is a self-identification. Gangs in many areas breakdown between those who identify as Nortenos versus Surenos. But that doesn’t mean that any specific group of “Nortenos” or “Surenos” are tied to any larger hard core network of gangs, some of which are based out of prisons. I imagine some local Bay Area gangs who identify as “Nortenos” are so affiliated. There’s evidence of some Surenos in the Bay Area being tied in.

    For some though it is a group identity, with no tight ties. I don’t see evidence of that sort of tie in my neighborhood. I am in no way suggesting that WSB is benign.

  • Residentd against reality

    Hmmm… I wonder if there were no legal barriers to no and low skilled people entering the workforce, like the minimum wage, if these kids might have had somewhere else to be engaged in some productive nonviolent activity and getting on the job training for a high wage productive role in society. nah. That’d be exploitative. Much better to create criminals. What would the prison industrial complex do for labor if we did that?

  • guest

    We are talking about the BABA$. my friends are in the BABA$ and its pretty sad to know they have themselves in danger.

  • Guesttt.

    For all of you, my friends are in the BABA$. its sad to know that how close you can be to the BABA$. yeah lately they have been involved in fights these past few fridays but their life is what me, my other friends and teachers are worried about. BABA$ are alive and will always be. So sad to hear that the quincenera who is also my friend at BHS, is sad.

  • ilovesouthberkeley

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m really sorry to hear about your friend who I understand was attending the quincenera when he got shot, and I’m glad to know that he will get better. There are adults in Berkeley who are worried about your friends’ lives too, but if they don’t understand what is going on, it’s difficult for them to try to figure out how to help keep them safe.

  • CTD

    Maybe it’s because they’re acting like babies?

  • Still, they are a group of criminal sociopaths who failed at getting a job due to maladaptation. This will be my description of them, rather than the nebulous term “local youth gang.”

    It is safer for them to operate in cells of three members. That’s why BPD haven’t recognized BaBa$ as a gang, yet.