Tag Archives: Shootings in Berkeley
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 »
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.
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 »
Berkeley police are on the lookout for a suspect who shot at a man after they got into a verbal altercation Wednesday.
A little after 9 a.m., two men got into a fight near the intersection of Ashby Avenue and Sacramento Street, according to Sgt. Andrew Frankel of the Berkeley Police Department. One of the men pulled out a gun and fired at the other, but missed, said Frankel. The shooter ran away.
Berkeley police briefly closed off Stanton Street, near the scene of the shooting, to make sure no one had been injured by gunfire. No one had, said Frankel.
Sgt. Frankel did not know if the two people involved were friends or acquaintances. … Continue reading »
[Editor’s Note: Berkeleyside freelancer Delency Parham knew Alex Goodwin Jr. This story includes some of Parham’s own reflections, as a young Black man himself, on the loss.]
The project features five previously unreleased songs from Goodwin, who was shot and killed earlier this month on the front porch of his South Berkeley home. Along with the rest of Neighborhood Heavy, the 22-year-old Berkeley native had been hoping one day to make music his full-time work.
Now, as friends and family mourn his death, members of Neighborhood Heavy say they are hopeful their friend and brother can live on through their music.
Goodwin was born and raised in South Berkeley. A product of all Berkeley schools, parks, and recreation centers, he epitomized what it meant to be from this city.
See the GoFundMe page.
His ability to be there when people needed him most is what allowed him to impact so many lives in such a brief period. Not only was he a son, he was an uncle, an older brother, a grandson and a companion to many. Like most young men, he had a passion for sports; some might even describe him as a Golden State “Warriors fanatic.” … Continue reading »
Crime log: Police raid and drug bust, Northside prowler, library vandals sought, mail thieves spotted, RIP ‘AyeGee’
This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Share photos, videos and tips by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.
SNAPSHOT From Aug. 12-18, there were reports of five robberies, six burglaries, nine assaults or batteries, two weapon-involved calls and no sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also seven stolen vehicles, nine disturbances and 25 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Two weapons calls, a vehicle theft and two vandalisms, among other crimes, were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent. Find the Aug. 12-18 round-up below.
[NB: The CrimeMapping dataset for Aug. 12-18 is incomplete. Berkeleyside has asked BPD for a fix. The Alameda County sheriff’s office is also having trouble with its Inmate Locator and online case tracking systems; a fix is expected by the end of the month, the agency has reported.]
Recent public safety news: Hot off the presses
ARMED ROBBERY NEAR CAMPUS Early Wednesday morning at 1:50, BPD reports there was an armed robbery at Blake and Dana: “Two suspects walked up behind the two victims and demanded their property while pointing handguns at them. The victims gave the suspects a wallet and cell phone,” and the robbers fled northbound on foot on Dana. The robbers were described as 25-year-old black men with thin builds, 5 foot 9 to 5 foot 11. They wore black hooded sweatshirts and jeans and were armed with handguns. (Berkeleyside first reported this incident on Facebook for timeliness.)
SOUTHSIDE BURGLARY ARREST On Wednesday afternoon, a reader asked Berkeleyside: “What’s going on with all of the cops on Bancroft and Telegraph?” UCPD Sgt. Sabrina Reich said, at about 1 p.m., staff in the Unit 3 student housing complex, at 2400 Durant, “reported a suspicious person who was seen in multiple residence halls.” UCPD officers tried to speak with the man but he ran into a nearby apartment complex where UCPD was able to detain him. Police identified the man as 25-year-old Wilford Hooper of Hercules. Reich said Hooper was found to be in possession of property stolen from Unit 3, and was arrested on suspicion of burglary, probation violation and a warrant out of Contra Costa County. He was taken to Berkeley Jail. He is being held in connection with misdemeanor indecent exposure, in addition to the other violations. Hooper’s next court appearance was not listed online.
PROWLER IN NORTH BERKELEY On Friday, Aug. 19, at about 9:30 a.m., BPD got reports of a prowler in the 2400 block of Virginia, followed by a similar report in the 1600 block of Euclid a short time later. A reader described to Berkeleyside “8 cop cars on Euclid between Virginia and Hilgard. With their guns out.” According to BPD, citizens helped police track the prowler’s flight path through the block and nearby backyards. Two people were detained but ultimately no one was arrested. BPD said, according to one report, a man had been masturbating in a common area of an apartment building. The case remains under investigation. “The citizens were helpful,” said watch commander Lt. Andrew Rateaver. “It is important for residents to know what is going on in their area.” (Berkeleyside first reported this incident on Facebook for timeliness.) … Continue reading »
Twenty-two-year-old Alex Goodwin Jr. has been identified as the person who was fatally shot by San Pablo Park late Thursday night.
Authorities have not released the name, but friends have identified Goodwin online and the family has been informed, according to those familiar with the neighborhood.
Thursday night’s shooting became the first homicide of the year after Goodwin was pronounced dead at Highland Hospital early Friday morning.
Multiple callers reported the sound of gunfire to police just before midnight. Numerous callers said they heard three shots around Mabel and Burnett streets.
Berkeleyside broke the news of the shooting at about 2:20 a.m.
Goodwin lived in the 2900 block of Mabel according to records online. A woman called police around the time of the gunshots to report that her brother had left their home but not come back in, according to scanner recordings reviewed by Berkeleyside.
BPD has not confirmed whether that call referred to Goodwin.
The young man attended Berkeley Arts Magnet, King Middle School and Berkeley High.
In a chilling post on Twitter less than a week ago, Goodwin wrote, “When I die, turnup for me… On Mabel in front of Grams house like I would want you to.” … Continue reading »
Police called to southwest Berkeley just before midnight following reports of possible gunfire found a young man down in the street who was breathing but unresponsive.
Berkeley Police Sgt. Andrew Frankel said shortly before 4:30 a.m. that the man was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
“We don’t believe that there is an immediate threat to the community as the shooting does not appear to have been random,” he said. “The suspects are still at large. Homicide detectives are on scene and working the investigation.”
Frankel confirmed that dispatchers got numerous calls just before midnight Friday about loud reports — possible gunfire — near Mabel and Burnett streets. Several callers reported hearing what sounded like three gunshots. The location is south of San Pablo Park and north of Ashby Avenue. It’s one block east of San Pablo Avenue.
One woman also called police to say her brother had stepped out of their home in the 2900 block of Mabel and had not come back inside, according to unconfirmed scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside.
Officers who responded to the scene found a 22-year-old man down in the street at Burnett and Mabel. Initially it was unclear whether he had been hit by gunfire. … Continue reading »
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 »