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.”
There has been a spate of recent incidents involving gunfire, some of which resulted in injuries and others that have not.
Last week Wednesday, police responded to an argument between two men at Sacramento Street and Ashby Avenue that involved gunfire but reportedly resulted in no injuries.
On Friday, a 17-year-old boy was shot in the face in West Berkeley after occupants of two cars shot at one another over a six-block area before one of the cars crashed and the other sped off. Police said that incident stemmed “from an ongoing conflict” between what BPD later identified as two gangs.
Police have not identified the gangs publicly or released a motive in that case.
Gunshots were also fired Sunday near San Pablo Park. 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, police said. The shooting was not random, according to authorities.
Police also responded to a shooting Wednesday night that involved two parties or individuals — pedestrians and occupants of a truck — shooting at each other. A teenage male juvenile was injured but was expected to survive, police said.
Concern about shootings comes up at crime report before council
Recent shootings already have at least some city officials on alert.
City Councilman Darryl Moore asked police about them at Tuesday night’s crime report.
He asked Acting BPD Chief Andrew Greenwood and Capt. Dave Frankel if they planned to get more officers into the area to help neighbors feel safer. Moore said he would like to see some additional surveillance and additional patrols.
Police said they were looking into taking those steps but, as of Tuesday night, had not put a plan into place.
“Is there some connection between the rise of this highly criminal activity … and the homicide that took place?” Moore asked BPD officials.
Frankel said some of the recent shootings may have been in retaliation for the Goodwin homicide, but that investigators are still working on figuring out all the elements.
Greenwood said police could shift resources to provide the extra patrols and the increased presence Moore was asking for. But he said it would be important to take a focused approach to any enforcement efforts.
“There’s a very small number of people who are involved in a dispute or problem, who are involved in violence,” Greenwood said.
He added that, if the past is any indication, one or two arrests could do a lot to curtail the violence. He said BPD wants to be “cautious about acting broadly and having enforcement or interactions with people who feel they’re being enforced against” and instead focus on the “very small number of people causing a problem.”
Replied Moore: “It’s just a small number of people who are causing the problems. But the perceptions by people who are living around the park … is that they can’t go out of their house and enjoy the park and enjoy the great community.”
Greenwood said he could see a positive benefit to having police in the area making contacts with the community just to reassure them and remind them authorities are nearby.
Police ask potential witnesses or those with related information to call the homicide detail at 510-981-5741 or email email@example.com. BPD’s non-emergency line can be reached 24/7 at 510-981-5900, and anonymous tips can be made to Bay Area Crimes Stoppers (BACS) at 800-222-TIPS (8477).
Read about recent shootings in Berkeley in past coverage. Have a question about a local public safety incident? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photographs and videos are always appreciated. This post was updated after publication due to the developing nature of events.
Police respond to gunfire calls; teenage boy struck (09.21.16)
2 feuding groups go on shooting spree through West Berkeley (09.20.16)
Juvenile shot in the face in West Berkeley (09.16.16)
Police hunt for man who fired gun during argument (09.14.16)
Young man shot multiple times in San Pablo Park (05.17.16)
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