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
After occupants in two cars raced through the streets of Berkeley shooting at one another, this car crashed. A police officer detains one of the car’s passengers. Photo: Chris Greacen

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.

The 17-year old shot in the face Friday night is taken to the hospital. Photo Chris Greacen
The 17-year-old shot in the face Friday night is taken to the hospital. Photo: Chris Greacen

No arrests have been made in either incident.

Berkeley police started getting calls around 10:10 p.m. that shots were fired around Ninth Street and Allston Way. Subsequent calls said shots were fired in other parts of Berkeley, including at Ninth and Pardee Streets, where the silver car carrying at least two people crashed into a parked blue car that then slid back into another car. It appears that the occupants were shooting at one another over a six-block period, he said.

Chris Greacen, who has lived in the area since 2013, said he heard the bullet shots from afar before the silver car crashed across the street from him, right in front of Acme Bakery’s wholesale operation.

Bullet holes scar the trunk of this tree. Photo: Chris Greacen
Bullet holes scar the trunk of this tree. Photo: Chris Greacen

“There were a lot of rounds discharged,” said Greacen. “I heard rounds before the car came up to our block, before it came south.”

Greacen’s car was hit by a bullet. Bullets also hit a parked PT Cruiser and blew out a rear window, according to photos. The bullets also struck a nearby tree.

Greacen said he considers his neighborhood a quiet one and is shocked by the violence. Although there are some gang tags on the backs of nearby stop signs ((SSB for Southside Berkeley gang) he often goes on walks with his family and has never felt threatened before.

“When this landed it seemed to be like a meteor from a different world, to have the gun problem show up there,” said Greacen. “The overt violence thing. We don’t want that to show up in our neighborhood at all.”

The 17-year-old has been released from the hospital.

Schofield also said that gunshots were fired Sunday near San Pablo Park, in an unrelated case. Around 7 p.m. a bicyclist shot at a pickup truck near the intersection of Oregon and Dohr streets. No one was injured in the shooting, although bullets did hit a number of houses, he said. The shooting was not random.

Police ask potential witnesses or those with information, such as the shooters’ identity, to call the homicide line at 510-981-5741 or email police@cityofberkeley.info.

Editor’s note 2:00 pm.: After there were numerous comments about the police’s use of “groups” rather than “gangs,” Lt. Schofield went back to the homicide detectives to ask if the groups were gangs. The lead detective confirmed the fight is between two gangs, although she would not specifiy which ones.

Related:
Juvenile shot in the face in West Berkeley (09.16.16)
Injuries reported in Berkeley shooting (2.16.16)

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Frances Dinkelspiel is co-founder and executive editor of Berkeleyside. Email: frances@berkeleyside.com.