Update, Feb. 16: Authorities released the name Friday of the man who was shot to death in Oakland on Feb. 3. He has been identified as 27-year-old Patrick Demarco Scott. Scott was pronounced dead at 11:31 a.m., less than an hour after he was shot just over the Berkeley border on Market Street in North Oakland. A press hold by OPD was in effect through Friday, Feb. 16, to keep the name from being released. OPD lifted the press hold Friday afternoon after Berkeleyside sought an update in the case. No additional information has been released.
Original story, Feb. 5: Neighbors say they are in shock over the fatal shooting Saturday morning of a quiet South Berkeley man in his 20s who rarely went outside except to go to work.
The Oakland Police Department has not released the name of the man, who was shot near a bus stop on Market and 62nd streets, just blocks from his longtime South Berkeley home. The shooting took place at approximately 10:50 a.m. According to neighbors, the 27-year-old struggled to get home after the shooting, but collapsed on the sidewalk before he could get there.
The man’s mother heard the gunfire, and ran outside to find her son on the ground with injuries to his stomach, according to unconfirmed scanner recordings reviewed by Berkeleyside. She rushed him to Children’s Hospital, and he was put into an ambulance bound for Highland Hospital, the regional trauma center. The man’s condition was described as critical during the ambulance ride, requiring chest compressions, and he was pronounced dead a short time later.
One neighbor told Berkeleyside the man took the bus to work at the same time every morning, and otherwise kept to himself inside the apartment he shared with his mother and at least one younger sibling.
“He was barely out of the house,” she said. “I have never seen him outside doing anything.”
She and other neighbors asked to be kept anonymous because the circumstances of the shooting are not known.
The woman, who has lived near the man’s family for about a decade, and in her own home for 45 years, described the family as nice, caring people who go to church every Sunday and work hard. Other neighbors familiar with the family said the same.
Sunday, the day after the shooting when Berkeleyside visited the neighborhood to speak with residents, the weather was warm and sunny, and the cheers and laughter of Super Bowl parties filtered out from the open doorways of many homes. Signs featuring political messages — “Black Lives Matter,” “Dreams are not illegal” and “Berkeley stands united against hate” — appeared in a number of windows. Residents were a diverse mix of races and ages, and the homes, mostly single-family structures with stairs past the garage leading up to the front door, were tidy, neatly-painted and well-maintained. A few small apartment buildings were also scattered around the block.
Several people who spoke with Berkeleyside recalled the days, as recently as 10-15 years earlier, when it had been a rougher place to live, when shootings and even killings would sometimes occur. But all said serious crime had dropped to a minimum over the past decade, leaving a friendly neighborhood that has attracted a number of students and young families.
One resident, who lives near Market Street, said he didn’t see the shooting, but saw the injured man make his way up Market onto 63rd. The victim was struggling to walk, and was clearly hurt. He held a phone and appeared to try to make a call as he continued up 63rd until he got to a white picket fence. He leaned on the fence briefly before collapsing on the ground.
The man’s mother “heard nine shots. Went outside, found him shot. Drove him here,” reported a Berkeley officer who spoke with the distraught woman at Children’s Hospital, as reported over the police radio. Berkeley police were the first to arrive on the block, though it later turned out the shooting had happened in Oakland. OPD investigators have since taken over the case, and have released minimal and conflicting information.
A lifelong resident of 62nd Street told Berkeleyside he had received numerous calls Saturday, after news of the shooting spread, from people who wanted to make sure he was safe.
“I’m not the only person on 62nd,” he said, shaking his head as he touched up the paint on his truck. He said he was not home when the shooting happened, but that he’d heard unconfirmed reports about it from friends. They said a vehicle pulled over near the bus stop. Then someone got out and exchanged words with a man there before firing a gun at him.
Witnesses described the shooter to police as a black man, 20-30, 5 feet 10 to 6 feet tall with a medium build, according to unconfirmed scanner reports reviewed by Berkeleyside. He wore a black T-shirt and baggy blue jeans, and may have worn a black do-rag, too. Some said he may have been riding in a silver vehicle.
Sunday, there was no memorial anywhere in the vicinity of the shooting location at Market and 62nd. The bus stop where the man may have been standing, for the southbound 88 line that runs from downtown Berkeley into downtown Oakland, is adjacent to a tiny mosque that sits on a small triangle lot near the Berkeley-Oakland border. Two young men chatting on a nearby corner, who said they pray often at the mosque, described the neighborhood as “not dangerous.” They had not heard about the shooting, but said they were concerned to learn of it.
“We need to keep our neighborhood safe,” one said.
At various times throughout the day Sunday, Berkeley officers were parked in the neighborhood to keep an eye on goings-on. There were no disturbances to report, one said. A BPD lieutenant said he had increased patrols over the weekend for the purpose of community safety.
“He was really trying to make it home”
The woman who has lived on her block for 45 years said she hopes police can find out who was responsible for the shooting, and let the neighbors know.
“I don’t know what happened, but whatever happened shouldn’t have happened,” she said. “It could have been anybody’s kid going to the bus stop like he did the same time every day.”
She said she was absolutely shocked to learn who had been shot because he was such a nice person who kept to himself. She said he was “kind of special,” but still held down a regular job. Other than work, however, he rarely came outside except to take out the garbage, she added.
There were other reports that the man may have had a developmental disorder with diminished mental capacity, but Berkeleyside was unable to confirm this as of publication time.
Another neighbor said there was “no way” the man who was shot would have been targeted intentionally, but declined to elaborate in the interest of privacy for the grieving family.
The 45-year neighborhood resident said she was taking a bath when she heard the gunfire Saturday morning.
“I’m a mother first,” she said. “My first thought was, ‘Where are my children?'”
She said she heard three shots, a brief pause, and then three more. When she looked outside a few minutes later, she saw a small group around the young man, trying to help him.
“He was really trying to make it home,” she said.
Berkeleyside left a note at the family home. A neighbor said no one had been there since the shooting Saturday.
OPD said in a brief statement Sunday that it had been notified of a shooting at 10:50 a.m. Saturday in the 6200 block of Market Street. According to the statement, OPD officers “responded and located a male adult Berkeley resident suffering from a gunshot wound.” This conflicts with the neighborhood reports, as well as information reported by BPD, that OPD did not get to the scene until after the man had been driven to the hospital by his mother.
OPD also said the victim’s name “is being withheld pending notification to next of kin,” which also conflicts with other reports. OPD has not responded to inquiries to explain these discrepancies, and has declined to release the man’s age or name. The coroner’s office said it cannot release the name due to a press hold by OPD.
No one has answered OPD’s media phone line since Saturday, and the phone number goes to a generic recorded statement asking for an additional extension, and does not allow a message to be left. The media cellphone’s voicemail box is full.
The Oakland Police Department asks anyone with information to call its Homicide Section at 510-238-3821 or its tip line at 510-238-7950.