Police release new footage of person of interest in fatal shooting of Berkeley musician

Police say this image shows a third person of interest in the killing of a Berkeley musician earlier this year. Image: OPD
Police say this is a third person of interest in the killing of a Berkeley musician in April. Image: OPD

Update, 6:15 p.m. Pet Food Express owners Mark Witriol and Michael Levy have announced they will increase their reward to $10,000, in addition to the $20,000 offered by Crime Stoppers.

Original story, 1:30 p.m. Police have released new surveillance camera footage related to the fatal shooting, by a stray bullet, of a Berkeley musician in April.

Tuesday, the Oakland Police Department released a new photograph and video from surveillance camera footage that shows an individual authorities have identified as an additional person of interest related to the crime. The new photograph appears to the left, and video released by police appears below.

Rewards of $20,000 from CrimeStoppers and $5,000 from Pet Food Express have been offered for tips that help solve the crime and lead to successful prosecution of the case.


Emiliano “Emilio” Nevarez, a 26-year-old Berkeley man, had just finished playing a show with his band Sunday, April 5, at 1 a.m. when a stray bullet struck him in Oakland in the 400 block of 14th Street, near Broadway, as he prepared to pack music equipment into a van.

In April, the Oakland Police Department released several photographs, also obtained from video surveillance footage, of individuals and a vehicle they said were associated with the shooting. There were two people in those photographs, a man and woman police say were with the shooter the night of the incident, as well as an early 2000s-model Mercedes Benz four-door silver sedan S-series. 

Police are asking for help to learn more about this Mercedes, and this man and woman. Photos: OPD
Police are also asking for help to learn more about this Mercedes, and this man and woman. Photos: OPD

Investigators said they would like to hear from anyone who many have seen the shooting, has information about the people in the photographs, saw the shooter leave the scene, or knows more about the Mercedes.

The Oakland Police Department promotes the Nixle system as a way to communicate anonymously with police in three ways: by texting “TIP OAKLANDPD” to 888-777 from a cellphone, followed by the tip; calling the toll-free tip line at 855-TIPS-247 (855-847-7247); or submitting a tip online.

Video released Tuesday by police appears below, and on YouTube.


 

Emilio Nevarez. Photo: Emilio Nevarez/Facebook
Emilio Nevarez. Photo: Emilio Nevarez/Facebook

The CrimeStoppers system can receive anonymous tips by phone, at 510-777-8572, and Oakland Police homicide detectives can be reached at 510-238-3821.

Nevarez lived in Berkeley at the time of his death. According to media reports, he graduated from Antioch High School and went on to get his bachelor’s from Ex’pression College in Emeryville, then worked as an audio engineer.

Police have not said much about how the shooting took place, but other publications reported a confrontation between a pedestrian and motorcyclist down the street that sparked the violence.

Nevarez had been performing with his punk rock band, The Lucky Eejits, and three other bands at Oakland’s Golden Bull bar and music venue that night. His two surviving bandmates, Casey Fitzpatrick and Tyler Salinas, posted a statement on Facebook about Nevarez’s death.

“Emilio was doing what we always do after our shows and prepping our gear to load back in the van. Just minutes before the tragedy Tyler and myself were walking to get the van to bring up front to load. Before we could even pull It up our brother was gone. We have been in a dark world of sadness and pure confusion as to why this happened to our beloved, beautiful and talented friend,” they wrote. 


A second person also was shot, police said, but those injuries — to the arm — did not appear to be life-threatening, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

In April, Nevarez’s family set up a memorial fund (Dow Credit Union account #2923997700). It’s payable by check to Dow Credit Union, P.O. Box 2059, 4041 Lone Tree Way, Suite 100, Antioch, CA 94531. According to The Golden Bull and The Lucky Eejits, money contributed to that fund would help pay for Nevarez’s memorial. Remaining donations would go to CrimeStoppers, which is coordinating the reward for crime tips in the case.

A man authorities say was with an alleged shooter whose bullet killed an innocent bystander. Photo: OPD
A man authorities say was with the shooter whose bullet killed Nevarez. Photo: OPD

Oakland-based Pet Food Express co-owners Mark Witriol and Michael Levy also put up $5,000 in reward money for information leading to an arrest. Witriol told police, according to a statement released in April, “Every company in Oakland has to realize that we can’t let this violence happen here, and we have to work together with the Police Department to make a difference.”

Individuals or businesses that want to donate to that effort can reach Mike Murray of Pet Food Express at 925-705-5762.

Related:
Police seek tips in fatal shooting of Berkeley bystander (04.10.15)

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[Editor’s Note: This story was updated Tuesday after police released video footage related to the case.]