Category Archives: Crime

2 shot and injured at Alcatraz and King in Berkeley

Parmedics wheel a shooting victim into an ambulance, in Berkeley, on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. This was the most recent in a string of shootings over the past few days. Photo: David Yee ©2016
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The Berkeley Police Department responded to shootings near King Street and Alcatraz Avenue Sunday night at around 8:23 p.m.

According to Lt. Alyson Hart from the Berkeley Police Department, dispatch received a call at 8:23 p.m. of “six-seven loud reports” in the area of Alcatraz Avenue, King and 63rd streets. Police located two victims on King Street north of Alcatraz. One victim was shot twice in the abdomen and the other in the leg. Lt. Hart said neither wound was considered to be life-threatening. Both shooting victims were transported to Highland Hospital.

Photos taken by Berkeleyside contributing photographer David Yee show a person being transported by first responders out of a residential building on a stretcher. … Continue reading »

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Friends mourn loss of 19-year-old gunned down in Berkeley

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The day after Ignacio Francis Jr., also known as Greg or ‘lil G’, was gunned down while standing with a group in the 1800 block of Fairview Street, his friends paid their respects at the site of his death.

A group of about 20 people, mostly in their early 20s, gathered Friday afternoon at the intersection of Fairview and Harper to light candles, make wax initials on the sidewalk, and write lil G’s name on a pole to convey how sad they felt that the 19-year-old Berkeley man was killed.

“He was a good friend, he was always there for us,” said Greg Symons Jr., 24, who knew Francis for about a year. “He was a good person. He was not a street person.”

Other friends of Francis’ also said that he had not been mixed up in gang behavior, but was an innocent who was shot on the street.

“The dude didn’t do anything,” said a 20-year-old man who didn’t want his name used but who attended Berkeley Technology Academy with Francis. He said Berkeleyside could refer to him as Wallace. “Violence is everywhere. A bullet has no name on it. I have had too many people killed.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police step up patrols after recent shootings

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

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Crime

Update: Homicide victim ID’d as Berkeley 19-year-old

Police investigate a homicide at Fairview and Harper streets, in Berkeley, on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. It was the city's second homicide of the year. Photo: David Yee ©2016
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Update, Sept. 23, 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, Sept. 22: One person has died after a shooting in South Berkeley, authorities reported just after 9 p.m.

Acting Capt. Kevin Schofield, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said a small group of men and women were at the corner of Harper and Fairview streets when a man walked up to them Thursday evening.

“Following some type of verbal exchange, the adult male produced a handgun and fired multiple rounds,” Schofield said. “The group scattered and one person sustained life threatening injuries. BPD officers arrived quickly and attempted to provide medical aid as they summoned BFD. BFD transported the victim to the hospital where he was declared deceased.”

Police got multiple 911 calls about the shooting beginning just after 7:30 p.m.

One person, a male, was taken to Highland Hospital for treatment, according to scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside. The incident took place in the 1800 block of Fairview, according to a Nixle alert released by BPD at 9:20 p.m.

No further information about the victim has been provided. It’s the second homicide in Berkeley of 2016.

Schofield said no arrests have been made but police are looking for the shooter.

According to the 9:20 p.m. Nixle, “While officers work this active crime scene the 1800 block of Fairview Street between Adeline and Ellis Streets is closed to all traffic. Harper Street between Woolsey and Fairview Streets is also closed while we investigate this matter.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police respond to gunfire calls; teenage boy struck

Image: Google Maps
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Berkeley police are responding to reports of gunfire in South Berkeley, with a teenage boy injured as a result.

Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said calls began coming in at 5:40 p.m. about gunfire at Russell and Sacramento streets.

White said two people may have been crossing Sacramento at Russell when an occupant or occupants in a truck began to shoot at them.

No victims were on the scene, but police got a call from a local hospital reporting a possible gunshot victim. White said the victim is a teenage boy who is being treated for what is believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.

Casings were also recovered at the scene. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Judge upholds death verdict in Berkeley-Oakland murders

Alaysha Carradine, 8, and Anthony "Tone" Medearis, 22, were both killed in fatal shootings in 2013. Photos: Courtesy of family
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Wednesday afternoon, an Alameda County Superior Court judge ordered convicted double murderer Darnell Williams Jr. to be executed by the state of California.

Williams, 25, of Berkeley was convicted by a jury in May, after nearly a month of testimony, of two fatal shootings in 2013. The victims were 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine, who was a guest at a sleepover when she was gunned down, and — less than two months later — 22-year-old Anthony “Tone” Medearis III, a father of two. Williams also was found guilty of the attempted murders of two children at the sleepover and their grandmother, as well as the unintentional shooting of his own nephew during the Berkeley killing.

In June, the jury recommended that Williams be sentenced to death. Judge Jeffrey Horner then undertook an extensive independent review of the case before making his ruling Wednesday about what the sentence would be.

Horner said Wednesday the “overwhelming weight” of the evidence supported the jury’s death penalty verdict from earlier this year. He also sentenced Williams to an additional 172 years to life in prison should the death sentence be taken off the table at a later date, and ordered him to pay about $35,000 in fees and fines for restitution and court costs.

Williams said nothing publicly throughout the hearing. At times, he looked around to see who was in the courtroom. But, for the most part, he kept his head down and faced forward. Williams is slated to be taken from Santa Rita Jail in Dublin to San Quentin State Prison in Marin County on Wednesday, authorities say.

“Justice has been truly served,” said Jackie Winters, aunt of Medearis, in remarks to the court before the sentencing. “I really don’t understand how one person can inflict so much pain on two different families.”

Prosecutor John Brouhard also read from a written statement by Chiquita Carradine, the mother of Alaysha, who could not attend the hearing, in part, because it “would be difficult,” Brouhard said.

“I will never see my first and only daughter graduate,” she wrote. “I will never get to see her go to prom, I will never get to see her off to college. I will never get another family photo.” … Continue reading »

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UC Police report 2nd rape in student residence in 5 days

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No further details were made available. UCPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau is investigating the crime.

There have been several reported rapes and sexual assaults of female UC Berkeley students since Cal started its new semester.

A rape was also reported to have happened the night after the latest one, also at a Cal residence hall. UCPD sent out the alert about that one on Sept. 15. The victim, a 19-year-old female student, was allegedly raped on Sunday Sept. 11 by a male acquaintance who was also a student and a resident of campus housing, UCPD said.  … Continue reading »

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More details emerge about carjacking on Friday

A suspected carjacker crashed this stolen car into a house on Sixth Street, then fled on foot to the railroad tracks, where he was arrested. Photo: Berkeley Police
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Berkeley police have arrested 22-year-old Theodis Evans in connection with the carjacking and crash on Friday that slowed down Amtrak train traffic.

According to police, Evans allegedly commandeered the car of a man parked near the North Berkeley BART station around 12:06 p.m. He allegedly approached a man sitting in his car, punched him, opened the door, and pulled him out of the car, according to Lt. Kevin Schofield. … Continue reading »

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2 feuding groups go on shooting spree through West Berkeley

After occupants in two cars raced through the streets of Berkeley shooting at one another, this car crashed. Photo: Chris Greacen
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This article has been updated since its initial publication.

Occupants of two cars racing through Berkeley shot at one another over a six-block area Friday night before one of the cars crashed and the other sped off.

A 17-year old boy was shot in the face during the incident – the second time he had been shot in seven months, according to Lt. Kevin Schofield of the Berkeley Police Department. The 17-year-old was one of three teenagers wounded Feb. 16 when shots were fired into a car they were sitting in on the 1100 block of Parker St., near San Pablo Avenue, he said.

The shooting Friday night and the February shootings are most likely connected, said Schofield.

“It stems from an ongoing conflict between two groups,” he said. He did not know from which cities the groups were based. Detectives are still trying to determine the motive.

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Juvenile shot in the face in West Berkeley

Police inspect a vehicle at the scene of a shooting at 9th and Pardee streets, in Berkeley, on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. Photo: David Yee ©2016
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An unidentified juvenile was shot in the face in West Berkeley around 10: 10 p.m. after the car he was riding in sped through town, according to Lt. Alyson Hart of the Berkeley Police Department.

Police got a report of a car speeding on Ninth and Allston Way, and that call was quickly followed by other reports of a car speeding south.

Police found a crashed silver car at Ninth and Pardee streets near Acme Bakery. Officers found the  juvenile outside the car. He had been shot in the face, said Hart. His injuries were not life-threatening and he was taken to Highland Hospital, she said.

Berkeleyside initially reported – based on unconfirmed scanner reports – that a second gunshot victim was found at Vital Vittles at 2810 San Pablo Ave. Lt. Hart said that was incorrect; there was only one person shot on Friday. … Continue reading »

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Man suspected of carjacking crashes into house; flees towards oncoming train

A suspected carjacker crashed this stolen car into a house on Sixth Street, then fled on foot to the railroad tracks, where he was arrested. Photo: Berkeley Police
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Berkeley police have arrested a man who allegedly carjacked a car from the North Berkeley BART station, raced through Berkeley, crashed the car into a house in the 1500 block of Sixth St. near Jones Street and tried to escape onto the train tracks while a train approached.

One Berkeley police officer was injured when the suspect got into a fight with police, according to Lt. Andrew Rateaver. The suspect was also taken to the hospital, although it is unclear … Continue reading »

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Crime

First 6 months of year see crime drop in Berkeley

2016 mid-year crime report. Source: BPD
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Crime is down in Berkeley this year, after it spiked in 2015 with the highest serious felony statistics since 2009.

In the six-month crime report, set to go before the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday, Berkeley police authorities say overall Uniform Crime Report numbers were down 8.3% from January through June as compared to the same period in 2015. The federal designation tracks reports of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, auto theft and arson.

The department does not analyze the crime rate or look at how crime statistics relate to changes in the city’s population.

Despite promises to council in March to launch a robust social media program this year, the effort has yet to take off. According to the Sept. 20 report, “The department is … working with the City PIO to develop and implement a social media strategy using Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor and GovDelivery.”

The city as a whole has been slow to embrace social media, and follows a policy created by city spokesman Matthai Chakko that requires departments interested in social media to create a six-month content plan in advance and commit to a rigid posting schedule.

On the bright side, pedestrian robberies decreased nearly 20% from 2015, and overall robberies were down about 10%. There were no homicides in the first six months of the year. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley police arrest suspect in sexual assault case

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The University of California Police Department has arrested a suspect in a rape reported at a university residence hall in Berkeley over the weekend.

According to an alert released by UCPD on Thursday morning, the department got a report Monday of a rape Sunday night at a UC Berkeley residential hall.

The victim, a 19-year-old female student, was sexually assaulted by a male acquaintance who is also a student and a resident of campus housing, UCPD said.

An investigation led to the arrest Wednesday of 25-year-old Sardar Sikandar Wali Zia Khan on suspicion of two felony charges.

Two Cal students also reported being victims of sexual assault at Berkeley’s Greek Theatre on Saturday night. A total of three sexual assaults were reported at Diplo’s ‘Mad Decent Block Party. … Continue reading »

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