A young man with deep Berkeley ties, bound for college with dreams of becoming a computer engineer, was killed over the weekend during a shooting in North Oakland.
The man has been identified by friends and family online as 18-year-old Sultan Bey, who was from Berkeley and previously attended Berkeley schools, though he was an Emeryville resident at the time of his death. His family history in Berkeley goes back at least a generation.
The Oakland Police Department has released minimal information about what led to Bey’s death and declined to release Bey’s name Monday afternoon due to the early stage of the investigation. The coroner’s office said it could not release the name either. According to a brief OPD statement, police were called to a local hospital Saturday at 8:50 p.m. where they found a man who had been pronounced dead by hospital staff after being shot in the 800 block of 60th Street, in North Oakland’s Santa Fe neighborhood. No arrests have been reported.
Bey’s mother, Aminah Robinson — who uses the professional name “Chef Mimi” — wrote on Facebook that her son was killed just 45 minutes after having dinner with her Saturday.
“He left the house with a friend to pick up another friend and while waiting someone shot through the back window shooting my son in the head,” she wrote. “The feeling that I feel is beyond pain.”
Bey died at Children’s Hospital Oakland on Saturday night after being driven there for medical care. Robinson, who graduated from Berkeley High in 1993, wrote that her son was slated to graduate in May, then go on to attend Clark University in Atlanta.
According to information online, Bey attended Berkeley High at least as recently as 2013, where he played football on the JV team. But he was no longer a BUSD student, a district spokesman said Monday.
Bey later was a student at REALM Charter, but it was unknown which high school he was attending at the time of his death. REALM did not reply to a request for information from Berkeleyside.
Dozens of friends set up a memorial for Bey near San Pablo Park in Berkeley on Sunday and Monday nights, lighting candles in his memory. Many Berkeley youth also mourned the teenager’s death online in the hours after learning about it Saturday as word spread through the community. Posts on Twitter began appearing just before 9 p.m. and continued for hours into the night.
One friend recalled days hanging out and having fun with Bey at Emeryville’s Bay Street, and wrote of already having lost far too many people he had grown up with.
“It’s crazy how one day you could be talking to someone and the next day they’ll be gone,” wrote another. “Rest in Peace my brother Sultan.”
Others expressed concern about safety in the community, writing: “Gotta get out of Berkeley… nothing good goin on round here anymore.” Said another, simply, “pray for berkeley.”
Robinson told KTVU her son was shot twice in the head, and also was shot in the neck. She said she thought he had been targeted but didn’t know why. She said she hoped the community would come together to speak out against violence in the wake of the killing.
“We need to be marching and we need to be talking and we need to be bringing this to the table so that we can address why this is happening,” she told KTVU. “Because this is happening to too many young black males.”
The GoFundMe page Robinson set up has been shared more than 1,000 times, and many people have posted their condolences on her Facebook page. In return, she expressed her gratitude for their support.
“My heart has left my body and I am praying that I can make sense of the loss of my son,” Robinson wrote. “I appreciate all the … phone calls and those who stopped by. My journey will be a long one. Please pray for me and my family. Give me strength to explain to my younger son that his brother isn’t coming home.”
Police have asked anyone with information about the case to call the Oakland Police Department Homicide Section at 510-238-3821 or OPD’s tip line at 510-238-7950.