Gunshots in South Berkeley, 2 victims

Berkeley Police at the scene of a double shooting in South Berkeley on Wednesday. Photo: Charles Siler
Berkeley Police at the scene of a double shooting in South Berkeley on Wednesday. Photo: Charles Siler

Update, 6:17 p.m. A local resident, who asked not to be named due to safety concerns, said he heard about 10 gunshots just after 4:30 p.m.

He said gunshots in the neighborhood are “not normal,” but that lately more and more people have been congregating in the apartment complex at 1611 Russell St.

He said he believed there has been drug activity in the area, and that police are aware of the situation.

Berkeleyside will update this story if more information becomes available. 


Update, 6 p.m. One Berkeleyside reader who heard the initial disturbance, just after 4:30 p.m., said it sounded like “quite a large volley of gun shots, followed shortly by sirens. Then it sounded like all the kids in the school by our house were taken inside, and now there’s a 2nd and 3rd round of sirens.”

Another woman who was in the area wrote that she “loaded baby in stroller and rushed home.”

Malcolm X parent Steven Saunders said he tried to pick his child up from Malcolm X Elementary School just after 5 p.m., but the doors were locked. A teacher came outside and told him the school was on lockdown.

Berkeleyside is following up with the Berkeley Unified School District to learn more. Neither school answered the phone as of 6 p.m.

Berkeleyside interns Charles Siler and Drew Jaffe are reporting from the scene.

Update: 5:43 p.m. Berkeley Police spokeswoman Jennifer Coats said one of the shooting victims is 21 years old, and the age of the other victim is unknown at this time.

The 1600 block of Russell Street and the 2800 block of California Street are closed, said Berkeleyside intern Charles Siler, reporting from the scene.

Police found one of the victims in the 1600 block of Russell, and the other in front of the South Berkeley YMCA Learning Academy, in the 2800 block of California.

The location of the shooting is three blocks south of Longfellow Elementary School, two blocks northwest of Malcolm X Elementary School and three blocks west of Grove Park.

Police are not releasing any suspect or vehicle information at this time.

Police on California Street on Wednesday night. Photo: Charles Siler
Police on California Street on Wednesday night. Photo: Drew Jaffe

Update, 5:23 p.m. According to unconfirmed scanner traffic, at least one caller reported hearing 12 gunshots in the 1600 block of Russell Street just after 4:30 p.m.

Authorities said there were two victims, who have been taken to the hospital.

According to scanner traffic, both victims were conscious when emergency responders arrived. One had been shot in the leg and the other had been shot “possibly” in the arm and hand.

Police said they had found shell casings, and were securing the block for their investigation, closing parts of Russell and California streets.

Update, 5:14 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department has sent out a Nixle alert about the shooting, asking people to avoid the area of California and Russell streets.

Police said roads would be closed for an undetermined amount of time.

Both gunshot victims were taken to a local hospital for medical treatment.

Image: Google maps
Image: Google maps

Original story, 5:06 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department is responding to South Berkeley where two people have been injured by gunfire, according to initial reports.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said police received multiple 911 calls just after 4:30 p.m. regarding possible gunfire near Russell and California streets.

Coats said she did not know the age of the victims.

“This is a fluid and active crime scene,” she said via email, adding that she was heading to the scene to learn more.

Berkeleyside readers reported hearing “rapid gun fire while playing at the tot park on Oregon and Grant” and “multiple police vehicles driving around the area.”

Berkeleyside will update this story as more information becomes available.

It’s the second double shooting in Berkeley since Saturday night.

Berkeleyside interns Charles Siler and Drew Jaffe reported from the scene.

Related:
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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)
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Victim reports shooting in Berkeley, details scant (02.28.14)

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