Police make arrest in fatal shooting of 24-year-old

Residents watch police search the 1600 block of Russell Street for the suspect in a shooting in Berkeley. Photo: David Yee
Christian Sheppard was shot and killed in the 1600 block of Russell Street on Tuesday. Photo: David Yee

Berkeley police have announced the arrest of 24-year-old Anthony Durant following a fatal shooting Tuesday night in South Berkeley.

Police identified the man who was killed as 24-year-old Christian Sheppard of Stockton. Friends, however, said he grew up on Stanton Street in South Berkeley and was a lifelong resident of the neighborhood.

The shooting occurred in the 1600 block of Russell Street, according to police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats.

On Tuesday, Oct. 6, at approximately 8:30 p.m., police received multiple 911 calls of gunfire near Russell and California streets, Coats said.


When officers arrived in the 1600 block of Russell, they found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken by paramedics to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

According to unconfirmed scanner recordings, police also recovered bullet casings at the scene, and later found a discarded firearm behind a home in the 1600 block of Julia Street. Police called in canine units from neighboring agencies to help with the search. Officers blocked off Russell, Julia, California and King streets during the search, advised residents to stay inside and limited access to the area.

Anthony Durant: wanted on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in a double shooting that happened in Berkeley on June 11, 2014. Photo: courtesy BPD
Anthony Durant (2014 file photo). Photo: BPD

Durant was arrested in the 1600 block of Julia Street at his home around midnight Wednesday by members of the police department’s Special Response Team.

Coats said it is believed Durant and Sheppard knew each other.

Sheppard graduated in 2009 from Berkeley High School, where he played on the football team, according to the website MaxPreps.


The investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

The case is the first reported homicide within the Berkeley Police Department’s jurisdiction in 2015.

Durant remains in custody at Berkeley Jail without bail and is scheduled for arraignment Friday, Oct. 9.

Berkeley police have arrested Durant multiple times in recent years. In March, police said he was armed with a pistol during a dispute with another person. The department’s Special Response Team served several search warrants in the 1600 block of Russell, and arrested Durant on suspicion of carrying a concealed firearm, being prohibited from firearm possession due to a juvenile conviction, and probation violation.

Durant was arrested in Berkeley in June 2014 after a shooting in the 1600 block of Russell Street that injured two people. According to court papers, he also was pulled over in Berkeley in December 2013 and was found with a loaded, concealed firearm later determined to have been stolen. He told police he had just picked up the gun at the corner store and planned to turn in to authorities. Durant was also convicted as a juvenile, in 2006, of robbery, according to court papers.


Chris Sheppard
Chris Sheppard

Tuesday night, many of Sheppard’s friends took to Twitter to remember him. Berkeleyside did not release his name because police declined to confirm his identity.

According to one friend, Sheppard had two daughters.

Wrote another, “Whole city of Berkeley gone know Chris from the south was a legend…sending his family prayers.”

“This guy was a real Berkeley legend…built bridges. Stood up for me in low moments,” he wrote.

Many referenced Sheppard as “Chris from da Souf,” and posted “rest in peace” messages online.

One friend described Sheppard as “hella cool with a big ass heart,” and a man who would stand up for her when problems arose.

Wrote another, “Something gotta give, these streets taking everybody.”

Police ask anyone with information about the case to call Berkeley’s Homicide Detail at 510-981-5741, or the 24-hour non-emergency number, 510-981-5900. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Bay Area Crimes Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Related:
Shooting on Russell in Berkeley sends 1 to hospital (10.06.15)
Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, March 12-18 (03.27.15)
Berkeley police make second arrest in shooting (06.27.14)
After 4 house raids, police arrest 1 man; second is ‘armed and dangerous,’ still sought (06.26.14)
Breaking: Authorities raid one or more homes in Berkeley (06.26.14)
Police make arrest in South Berkeley double shooting (06.12.14)
Gunshots in South Berkeley, 2 victims (06.11.14)

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This story was updated after publication to reflect additional information. Berkeleyside editor Tracey Taylor contributed to this story.