Tag Archives: Shootings in Berkeley
Crime log: Robbery arrests, gunfire in South Berkeley, stolen rental car found by CHP, National Night Out, more
Note: The crime data typically published by the Berkeley Police Department has not been fully updated since early June due to technical problems. Berkeleyside has requested a fix, and an estimated date for that fix. The items that appear below have primarily been gleaned from reader tips, arrest records, calls for service reports and reports to other law enforcement agencies. Share photos, videos and tips by emailing email@example.com. Don’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.
Recent public safety incidents in Berkeley
STOLEN RENTAL CAR RECOVERED Authorities arrested a man in Berkeley after linking him to a stolen SUV on Wednesday, July 27. According to the California Highway Patrol’s Golden Gate Division spokesman, Officer John Fransen, the Alameda County Auto-Theft Task Force got a call that day from Hertz Rentals about a vehicle that had been recently stolen: “They notified us the vehicle was a silver 2016 Chevrolet Suburban that was stolen from their lot in Oakland earlier in the day. They also gave the Suburban’s current location.” Task force investigators responded to that location, the 2800 block of McGee Avenue in Berkeley, and spotted the unoccupied Chevy parked along the curb. Investigators kept an eye on the vehicle until a man later identified as 32-year-old Reginald Sinegal approached it and got inside. Investigators stopped Sinegal and took him into custody without incident. He was booked into North County Jail in connection with the stolen vehicle. No further information was available.
ROBBERY ARREST Police arrested Rico Thomas, a security guard, after a robbery last Wednesday at 7:16 a.m. at Gilman Street and West Frontage Road. The 28-year-old is no longer in custody, according to sheriff’s office records. He was released on $30,000 bail. He was charged with robbery and a special allegation related to prison eligibility if convicted, along with two misdemeanors tied to carrying a concealed loaded firearm in public. He is scheduled for his preliminary hearing Aug. 11.
GUNFIRE IN SOUTH BERKELEY Police got multiple reports Wednesday from residents who heard shots fired near Oregon and Acton streets in South Berkeley. BPD spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel said officers “responded to the scene and were unable to find any persons, vehicles, or residences that were hit with gunfire.” They did recover shell casings from the scene. Police called local hospitals but found no one who had been admitted with apparent gunshot wounds.
WEAPONS CALL AT NORTH BERKELEY BART The BART Police were called to the North Berkeley station after one person reported having gotten into a verbal fight there with someone who showed him a gun in his waistband. The incident took place around midnight Thursday, July 28. Authorities said the suspect was last seen at the bus stop at the station. Berkeley Police officers arrived and saw someone in the bus zone who matched the description. The station was temporarily shut down and trains were held at Berkeley PD’s request, according to the BART Police. When BART Police officers arrived, they detained the possible suspect. When they searched him, however, they found no gun, and he was eventually released. According to the BART Police, a use of force investigation was conducted. No further information was provided.
Berkeley police have arrested five people in connection with shots fired last week from someone in a car with a BB gun.
According to Sgt. Andrew Frankel, BPD spokesman, police received several reports of someone shooting a BB gun from a silver sedan early last Tuesday morning, July 19.
Shortly after midnight, there was a report from Channing Way and Ellsworth Street where two people in a car shot someone in the back with what was believed to be a BB gun, according to authorities.
Frankel said that, about 45 minutes after the initial call, a Berkeley Police officer “heard BB gun shots coming from a car that fit the description” provided earlier. … Continue reading »
UC Berkeley Police reported that a man began shooting at a group of UC Berkeley students early Monday morning. The weapon may have been a pellet or BB gun, police said. Nobody was seriously hurt, but one victim sustained a minor injury and was treated at a local emergency room.
According to UCPD, the assault happened at about 12:22 a.m. at International House, at the intersection of Piedmont Avenue and Bancroft Way. Eight Cal students were standing and sitting on the steps outside International House, also known as I-House, when they noticed a man standing across the street holding what appeared to be a gun. It was later determined to be possibly a pellet or BB gun.
The suspect started shooting the gun towards I-House and the students ran inside.
Witnesses who spoke to the police reported that there may have been a second male suspect who was letting off fireworks.
One victim was taken to the hospital to be treated for a minor injury. … Continue reading »
Berkeleyside got several questions Tuesday about police activity in town, including an investigation into gunfire on Stuart Street that damaged a vehicle, an arrest downtown after a fight, and an agitated man who ended up being taken for a psychiatric evaluation in South Berkeley.
The Berkeley Police Department responded at about 8:40 p.m. to the 1900 block of Stuart Street, said Lt. Dan Montgomery, weeknight watch commander. There had been reports of possible gunfire.
Officers found no victims, but they did discover one vehicle that had been hit three times by gunfire and left at the scene. … Continue reading »
An Alameda County jury came back Thursday to recommend a sentence of death in the case against Darnell Williams Jr., who had already been found guilty of the killings in 2013 of a little girl at a sleepover and a man who was pleading for his life as he tried to run away.
The same jury found Williams guilty one month ago of those murders, along with the attempted murders of three other people and the accidental shooting of his own nephew. But, because the death penalty was a possible sentence in the case, there has been a second phase of the trial involving new evidence in recent weeks.
The jury deliberated for about a day before coming back with its verdict. Judge Jeffrey Horner said Thursday afternoon that Williams would be sentenced Sept. 21. The jury’s verdict is a recommendation the judge could ultimately reconsider.
Williams did not respond to the verdict except by looking up at the courtroom clock, which he has done often throughout the proceedings. When the judge asked him if he wanted to give up his right to be sentenced within 20 court days, he responded with a quiet “yes.” No supporters attended the hearing on his behalf.
The case was the first one to go to trial under Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley in which she sought the death penalty. The last person in the county to be sent to death row was David Mills in 2012 after his conviction for triple murder.
O’Malley attended Thursday’s hearing, and said it was the execution of a child, and the near-deaths of two other children, that — in part — made this case so heinous and prompted her to seek the death penalty. … Continue reading »
In closing statements Tuesday in the murder trial of Darnell Williams Jr., attorneys on both sides said the 25-year-old Berkeley man was a psychopath. But they disagreed in their advice to the jury about what his sentence should be.
Prosecutor John Brouhard told jurors the death penalty would be the fair and just punishment for Williams, who fatally shot two people in separate incidents in 2013, and tried to kill three others.
Defense attorney Deborah Levy agreed with the assessment of her client as a psychopath, but said the jury could still choose to show him mercy.
“Was he born that way?” she asked the jury. “I don’t think so.”
She noted that Williams had not shown remorse or emotion throughout the trial process.
“I know you’ve seen it,” she told jurors. “It’s part of his emotional illness, that’s why. Psychopaths, they are unable to feel for others.” … Continue reading »
After suddenly announcing Wednesday that convicted murderer Darnell Williams Jr. would testify on his own behalf, the defense team backtracked Thursday morning with the brief announcement that it would instead rest its case.
The disappointment in the courtroom was palpable, as relatives and supporters of Williams’ two murder victims, along with other attorneys and interested spectators, had come to court to hear what he had to say.
At least some members of the jury appeared miffed they had made the trip to court for nothing.
“I knew your sucka ass weren’t going to get up there,” the sister of Anthony Medearis III — one of Williams’ two victims — yelled at him as she left the courtroom. Court staff told her she could not return for the remainder of the trial. … Continue reading »
Minutes after a forensic psychologist described the extensive and longstanding impulse-control problems exhibited by convicted murderer Darnell Williams Jr., he suddenly announced through his attorneys that he plans to take the stand in his own defense.
His attorneys said it wasn’t the first time they had discussed the subject, but were not expecting the announcement Wednesday, just as they were about to rest their case in the “penalty phase” of the trial.
At the end of testimony, the Alameda County jury that found Williams guilty earlier this month of two murders will make a sentencing recommendation to Judge Jeffrey Horner: either the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The two-person defense team had just completed questioning the woman they said would be their final witness — forensic psychologist Gretchen White — when the attorneys and judge said they needed to have a brief discussion out of the presence of the jury.
Read complete coverage of the case.
The judge had already told jurors they would be excused until Tuesday morning, when attorneys would present their closing statements. … Continue reading »
Despite knowing he would be arrested as a result, the father of a convicted murderer came to court Tuesday to ask for mercy for his son, who could face the death penalty after being found guilty earlier this month of gunning down two people, including a child, in 2013.
Darnell Williams Sr., 49, told the Alameda County jury charged with recommending a sentence for his son that he had not been a good father. He was locked up more than a dozen times, was in a prison gang called the Black Guerrilla Family, and has been addicted to drugs, including crack cocaine. He dropped out of high school after 10th grade.
The elder Williams, who is currently on parole, said he wanted to share “anything I can say that could save my son. I’m here to see and apologize to my son… for not being a good dad. And I was a drug addict and I stayed in prison.”
He said he missed his son’s birth because he was “on drugs real bad,” and regretted missing his son’s life and his football games.
“I never wanted [him] to be nothing like me,” he said.
The elder Williams said he expected to be taken into custody — on a warrant for a parole violation — after his testimony. He was on the stand for less than 15 minutes. After he stepped down, he looked at his son and mouthed the words, “Love you, man.” Officers from the district attorney’s office took the elder Williams into custody outside the courtroom after he hugged his brother, who had testified earlier in the day. … Continue reading »
A Berkeley man found guilty of two murders earlier this month, who could face the death penalty, asked an Alameda County Superior Court judge Monday to dismiss the jury and make his own ruling on sentencing.
Both attorneys for 25-year-old Darnell Williams Jr. strongly advised him not to waive his rights to a jury trial, they said. But Williams had other ideas.
“He would like the proceedings to end,” defense attorney Deborah Levy told Judge Jeffrey Horner on Monday afternoon. He said he would waive his rights and accept the judge’s sentence, said Levy, adding, “The death sentence is fine with him.”
Defense attorney Darryl Billups told the judge he had advised Williams he “didn’t think it was a good idea” to waive the jury trial, which is designed to lead to a sentencing recommendation for the judge. The jury is slated to decide between the death penalty and life in prison without parole.
The jury was not present when the attorneys made the request to Horner on their client’s behalf. … Continue reading »
There was a shooting in San Pablo Park in Berkeley on Tuesday morning, according to authorities.
Officer Byron White of the Berkeley Police Department said that the shooting took place at around 11 a.m and it resulted in one victim. The victim, a young man estimated to be in his 20s, was shot multiple times and was transported to a local hospital. His condition is unknown, Officer White said.
The victim was found outside the restrooms in the park, adjacent to the basketball courts.
The suspect is described as a young man estimated to be in his 20s, light-skinned, with short hair and about 6 ft tall. He was wearing a cream-colored shirt and baggy jeans. He was last seen heading east on Ward Street from Park Street, according to Officer White. … Continue reading »
Darnell Williams Jr., found guilty earlier this month of two murders and several special circumstances, had a history of violent attacks both in and out of prison that make the death penalty the appropriate sentence for him, the prosecution said Monday.
In the next phase of the case, attorneys are set to present evidence to show aggravating and mitigating circumstances they hope will help an Alameda County jury decide what sort of sentence to recommend for 25-year-old Williams. He could face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In 2009, nearly four years before the 2013 murders of Alaysha Carradine and Anthony “Tone” Medearis III, Williams tried to shoot down a childhood friend on Oregon Street after his own father ordered him to do it, prosecutor John Brouhard told the jury Monday during opening statements.
Read complete coverage of the case.
That was followed by three attacks on fellow inmates while he was locked up, the violation of his parole terms due to gun possession once he was released, and the discovery of a long shank in his cell during a surprise search once he was sent back to jail after his arrest in September 2013, Brouhard said.
Williams had been out of prison for about a month, following the earlier shooting attempt in Berkeley, when he gunned down 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine at an Oakland sleepover. … Continue reading »
After nearly a month of testimony, followed by less than two full days of deliberations, an Alameda County jury brought back a series of guilty verdicts Friday afternoon in connection with two fatal shootings in 2013 that took the lives of an 8-year-old girl at an Oakland sleepover and a 22-year-old Berkeley father.
Scroll down for videos of family members reacting to the verdicts.
The jury found Darnell Williams Jr. guilty of all nine counts against him, including two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. The guilty verdicts included three special circumstances — lying in wait, murder during the course of a robbery or attempted robbery, and multiple murders — that made the case eligible for the death penalty.
The jury is set to return May 16 to hear additional information from attorneys and consider the sentence in the case. … Continue reading »