Berkeley police step up patrols after recent shootings

Police are on the scene of a shooting in South Berkeley. Photo: Citizen reporter
Police are on the scene of a shooting in South Berkeley. Photo: Citizen reporter

Update, 1:40 p.m. Police have identified the young man shot and killed Thursday night as 19-year-old Ignacio Francis Jr. of Berkeley. Those who knew him have said he went by the name “Greg.” He was shot around 7:30 p.m. while standing with a group of people at Harper and Fairview streets. The shooting was not random, according to Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police Department spokesman.

Original story, 1:34 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department has increased patrols and stepped up investigations this week after several recent shootings, including a homicide Thursday night.

It was the city’s second fatal shooting of the year.

According to a notice released shortly after 1 p.m. Friday, police are asking the community for help as investigators work to identify and capture suspects linked to a series of shootings.


“We ask community members to quickly report any disputes or altercations, especially if a firearm is seen,” according to the statement. “Community members can also play a crucial role in locating evidence, and providing information such as newly discovered damage or providing information or home video surveillance recordings.”

A shooting Wednesday involved a 16-year-old boy from outside Berkeley who was dropped off at the hospital but expected to survive.

“Multiple residents reported gunfire, resulting in immediate response from Berkeley Police,” BPD said.

Officers say this shooting and several others “appear to have involved two groups shooting at each other. This does not appear to have been a random act, but rather an incident involving two groups of individuals targeting each other.”

Previously, police identified the groups as “gangs,” but no further information has been provided.


Police have not released the identity, age or city of residence of the male who died in Thursday night’s shooting. Berkeleyside will continue to seek that information.

According to Friday’s statement, the city is also offering a reward of $15,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the year’s first homicide, which took the life of Alex Goodwin Jr., 22, in August.

Police said earlier this week that some of the recent shootings may have been in retaliation for the Goodwin homicide, but that investigators are still working on figuring out all the elements.

Read much more background about the recent shootings and Thursday night’s homicide in Berkeleyside’s initial story about the incident.

Berkeley City Councilman Darryl Moore, who pressed BPD about adding patrols, earlier this week during a crime report meeting, said he has been staying in close contact with police and the city manager in light of recent shootings.


“I feel very assured that our police department is doing everything they can to keep our community safe from harm,” said Moore.  “They are working purposefully to bring the perpetrators to justice and are putting in place safeguards to protect against retaliation.”

Moore said, in a prepared statement, that BPD will increase police patrols in the neighborhood around San Pablo Park, as well as around Sacramento Street and Ashby Avenue.

“Officers will be making an effort to meet with community members to not only create a visible presence, but to also engage the community, elicit any information they may have about these cases, or address questions and concerns,” Moore said.

He continued: “I urge my neighbors and the residents of Berkeley to look out for each other and to work with the police to help put a stop to the individuals behind the incidents of gun violence in our community.”

Police ask potential witnesses or those with related information to call the homicide detail at 510-981-5741 or email police@cityofberkeley.info. BPD’s non-emergency line can be reached 24/7 at 510-981-5900, and anonymous tips can be made to Bay Area Crimes Stoppers (BACS) at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Read about recent shootings in Berkeley in past coverage. Have a question about a local public safety incident? Write to crime@berkeleyside.com. Photographs and videos are always appreciated. This post was updated after publication due to the developing nature of events.

Related:
Update: Person dies after South Berkeley shooting (09.22.16)
Police respond to gunfire calls; teenage boy struck (09.21.16)
2 feuding groups go on shooting spree through West Berkeley (09.20.16)
Juvenile shot in the face in West Berkeley (09.16.16)
Police hunt for man who fired gun during argument (09.14.16)
Young man shot multiple times in San Pablo Park (05.17.16)

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