‘Art Not Guns’ memorial skate jam comes to West Berkeley on Saturday

The McCrary family during the 2017 skate jam memorial for Terrence McCrary Jr. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Expect a lively celebration Saturday at the Terrence McCrary Jr. Memorial Skate Park for an event to remember McCrary, who was killed in an Oakland shooting in August 2016.

It’s the second year McCrary’s family and friends have hosted the large community event, set to feature artwork, music, free T-shirt screen printing and refreshments. There’s no charge to participate.

The Oakland case, which also took the life of 20-year-old Craig Fletcher-Cooks, remains unsolved. Police recently released new photographs and surveillance video they hope will help close the case. Both young men graduated from Berkeley High. They were killed at a birthday party at an Uptown Oakland arts collective.

This Saturday’s event, dubbed “Art Not Guns,” was designed to support artistic projects and skating talent, organizers said. It “will highlight skateboarders, artists and musicians with an emphasis on the focus, passion and perseverance that is core to their creative and non-violent expressions,” according to a prepared statement about the event. McCrary’s passions were the inspiration for the day’s itinerary.


“I’ve never met someone so caring,” said close friend and longtime neighbor Jack Thiebaud at last year’s skate jam. “You would walk down the street with him and literally every single person he saw he would know. Every single person, he would be like, ‘Oh, how’s your mom?’ ‘How’s your sister?’ He knew everything about everyone and it’s just because he was so loving and cared about everybody.”

OPD shares new information

Two weeks ago, Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, OPD homicide detectives and the Fletcher-Cooks family held a public event to ask for the community’s help to solve the case. The shooting took place shortly before 1 a.m. in the 300 block of 15th Street on Aug. 14, 2016.

OPD has also shared two newly-released video clips (above), from just before and just after the shooting, as well as three sketches (below) of people they say are “persons of interest” in the investigation.

A 24-year-old man who was shot several times the same night survived his injuries, police said.

Police haven’t released much detail about the Oakland case. They said Fletcher-Cooks was shot while trying to defend his girlfriend when a group of men in their 20s grabbed her. McCrary, struck by a stray bullet outside the event, died at the scene. He was 22.

“At the time of the incident, it was estimated there were approximately 300 people were on [the] block, located between Harrison Street and Webster Street. As the initial gunshots began, the large crowd began running in all directions,” police said in a recent statement.

OPD says these sketches show three people of interest in their case. Source: OPD

Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in that case.


Oakland Police Department homicide investigators ask anyone with information about the shooting to call OPD at 510-238-3821 or 510-238-7950.

Berkeley homicides are also unsolved

Days after Fletcher-Cooks and McCrary were killed in Oakland, South Berkeley saw the fatal shooting Aug. 19, 2016, of 22-year-old Alex Goodwin Jr. outside his home near San Pablo Park.

Police who responded to that shooting found Goodwin unresponsive. He died at the hospital several hours later.

“Detectives believe there are individuals with information about this case and are asking for their help. Even the smallest detail could be critical in solving this crime,” BPD said in a recent statement.

Aneka Patterson, Goodwin’s sister, said there is still an active reward for information leading to an arrest.

Patterson told Berkeleyside last year that the community has been helpful and supportive as the family struggles to heal.


“It’s a blessing,” she said. “We just pray every day for justice, for somebody to come forward and say something. Because he didn’t deserve what happened to him.”

The city said Friday the reward in the case is currently $15,000.

It’s not the only open homicide case Berkeley police investigators still hope to solve.

Wednesday marked the eighth anniversary of the fatal shooting of Adolfo Ignacio Celedón Bravo. The Chilean native had moved to Berkeley to be with his fiancée. He was killed on his 35th birthday, police said in a statement this week.

The two were walking home after dancing at Ashkenaz when two male suspects “intent on robbing” the couple confronted them at Adeline and Emerson streets, near Ashby BART, at about 3:40 a.m.

“During the robbery, Celedón was shot and his fiancé was punched in the face before the suspects fled in what was described as a ‘dark older model SUV,'” police said.

A $15,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects responsible for Celedón’s shooting.

BPD asks anyone with information about either Berkeley case to call its Homicide Unit at 510-981-5741 or the 24-hour non-emergency line at 510-981-5900.