An Oakland man has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the fatal shooting in 2014 of 21-year-old Damarco J. Thomas.
On Saturday, police arrested Keivon Burnette on a warrant in Oakland at 9:25 a.m. after working on the case for more than a year, said Carolyn Jones, East Bay Regional Park District spokeswoman.
Jones said authorities believe the shooting happened when a group from Oakland tried to rob a group from Stockton during what was supposed to be a marijuana sale in the Seabreeze parking lot Oct. 28, 2014. Members of both groups were armed, Jones said.
Thomas, the man who died, was part of the Oakland group identified by police as the would-be buyers in the deal. He attended Berkeley High School.
Burnette, who has ties to both Oakland and Stockton, was part of the other group, she said.
According to previous reports, Berkeley police received a call that night around 8 p.m. that there had been some sort of disturbance at the Seabreeze Market, at University Avenue and West Frontage Road. They arrived to find a man, later identified as Thomas, lying on the ground. EBRPD police arrived as well. He had been shot multiple times.
Witnesses saw “two people flee north on foot from the market after the shooting, while a car was seen fleeing south,” according to media reports. Police conducted an extensive air and ground search, but no suspects were found. Police found a handgun and some shell casings nearby, according to EBRPD police.
Over the course of the investigation, East Bay Regional Park District police served more than 25 search warrants at six residences and seized several vehicles, Jones said, interviewed multiple people, and reviewed surveillance video and computer data. At least one of those search warrants was served in South Berkeley, in the 1500 block of Harmon Street in November 2014.
The Oakland Police Department, Alameda County sheriff’s department and Stockton Police Department also worked on the case.
According to the sheriff’s office Inmate Locator site, Burnette, a painter, remains in custody without bail at Santa Rita Jail.
Burnette was scheduled for arraignment Thursday morning. Berkeleyside has requested charging information from the Alameda County district attorney’s office.
The investigation is ongoing. Police ask anyone with information about the case to call the East Bay Regional Park District Police at 510-690-6549.
Update, 4:30 p.m. Teresa Drenick, district attorney’s office spokeswoman, said no additional information was available pending further investigation by EBRPD police.
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Police search South Berkeley after Seabreeze homicide (11.07.14)
Man killed near Seabreeze market in West Berkeley (10.29.14)
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