El Sobrante man killed in Berkeley shooting

The scene Tuesday on San Pablo Avenue as a city worker cleaned up after a fatal shooting. Photo: Darby Tyro
The scene Tuesday on San Pablo Avenue as a city worker cleaned up after a fatal shooting. Photo: Darby Tyro

Authorities have identified the man who was shot to death in Berkeley on Monday night as 36-year-old Kamahl Middleton of El Sobrante.

He and a 28-year-old woman were shot Monday at about 9:45 p.m. on San Pablo Avenue in a parking lot used by the 99 Cents Only store and other businesses, and adjacent to Everett & Jones Barbecue, just north of University Avenue in West Berkeley.

Police made four arrests in the case in February 2015. See the update.

The woman was taken to the hospital and was in stable condition as of Wednesday afternoon.


Photo: Kamahl Middleton
Photo: Kamahl Middleton

Middleton was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

According to the Alameda County coroner’s office, Middleton’s cause of death was multiple shotgun pellet wounds of the shoulder and chest.

Middleton identified himself on his LinkedIn page as the chief marketing officer for Natural Energy Company, dating back to 1996.

He received a business degree in marketing from San Francisco State University in 2008, according to his LinkedIn profile. Most of his publicly available online posts relate to marketing, and show him practicing how to use social media as he developed his job skills.

Middleton became a paraplegic after an accident earlier in life. He posted two videos of himself on his YouTube channel that showed his service dogs helping him with tasks.


Middleton also maintained a blog for his energy drink company, Natural Energy, though it has not been updated since 2011. In December of that year, he posted a video interview he did with a backpacker who used his products. His Twitter page had also been dormant since 2011.

The Berkeley Police Department has released minimal information about Monday night’s shooting.

According to police, dispatchers received “multiple 911 calls” about the incident, which took place in a parking lot in the 1900 block of San Pablo Avenue at 9:45 p.m. Monday.

First responders found two victims suffering from gunshot wounds.

A 28-year-old woman was taken to a hospital for treatment and the man, later identified as Middleton, was pronounced dead at the scene.


“Investigators are actively working this case, conducting interviews, following up on leads, and examining evidence,” police said early Tuesday in a prepared statement.

The gruesome scene where a man was killed Monday night. Photo: Darby Tyro
The gruesome scene where a man was killed Monday night. Photo: Darby Tyro

Berkeleyside reviewed scanner audio recordings in which police said the incident began as a robbery of medical marijuana, and involved a shotgun.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats declined to comment about those details Tuesday, and said she had no new information to report about the woman’s condition.

Coats said Tuesday that no arrests have been made.

Three other people have been killed in Berkeley this year: 54-year-old Sylvan Fuselier near San Pablo Avenue and Addison Street in February; , 72, in South Berkeley in September during an attempted carjacking; and  in a shooting in October at the Seabreeze market on University Avenue west of Interstate 80.

Update, 4:44 p.m. Coats said in a prepared statement that the woman who was shot is in stable condition. (Berkeleyside updated the story above to reflect this.)

Update, 5:30 p.m. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the woman who was shot was Middleton’s girlfriend. A family friend told the Chronicle that Middleton “grew marijuana, usually sold to medical marijuana clubs and used the drug himself to alleviate pain.” She said the family told her Middleton had set up a deal on the internet to sell marijuana the night he was killed. She also told the Chronicle that Middleton had become paralyzed when he was shot as a teenager, but this information has been disputed and does not appear to have been accurate.

Update, Jan. 7, 1:15 p.m. Several people who say they are familiar with Middleton’s history have disputed that his paralysis resulted from a shooting — as was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle — and say it was actually a car accident that caused his prior injury. Berkeleyside has been unable to reach Middleton’s family or friends for confirmation.

Update, Jan. 28: A friend of Middleton’s, Ryan Begley, wrote Berkeleyside to confirm that Middleton was paralyzed as a result of a car accident when the two were in high school. He said the two met in seventh grade, when Middleton was a student at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, and Begley was attending Albany Middle School. They later went to Albany High together: “He was a great person, totally non violent and was loved by everyone he knew. He was put in a wheel chair as a result of a car accident that happened during our senior year, perhaps our junior. The car he was riding in flipped over along the border of Albany and Berkeley on Key Route … or somewhere near there. The other two people in the car fled.”

Police ask anyone with information about this incident to call the Homicide Detail at 510-981-5741 or the non-emergency line at 510-981-5900. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can reach Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated shortly after publication to include additional biographical information about Kamahl Middleton. The location of the shooting — in a parking lot that is adjacent to Everett and Jones Barbecue but is shared by several businesses — was later clarified as well.

Related:
Police arrest 2 more after December homicide in Berkeley (02.27.15)
2 men charged after fatal Berkeley shooting (02.23.15)
Berkeley police arrest 2 after December killing (02.20.15)
Man dead, woman injured after 2 shot in West Berkeley (12.29.14)
Police search South Berkeley after Seabreeze homicide (11.07.14)
Man killed near Seabreeze market in West Berkeley (10.29.14)
Update: Shooting sends Berkeley man to hospital (08.04.14)
Breaking: Arrest made in recent Berkeley shooting (07.16.14)
Shooting in Berkeley sends 38-year-old man to hospital (06.26.14)
Police make arrest in South Berkeley double shooting (06.12.14)
Radio problems hamper Berkeley shooting investigation (06.09.14)
2 teens shot at West Berkeley hotel party (06.07.14)

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