Rivals charged with trying to kill each other during South Berkeley gun battle

Police responded to calls about gunfire Wednesday in South Berkeley. Image: Google Maps

Update, June 4, 12:30 p.m. Wilcox turned himself in Monday, according to authorities. His arraignment has been moved to Wednesday, according to court records online.

Update, June 4, 12:06 a.m. Police arrested Jamel Wilcox on Monday, June 3, at 2:30 p.m. according to jail logs online. He is set for arraignment Tuesday.

Original story, May 29: Two men and a woman on opposite sides of a shoot-out in South Berkeley were charged this week with attempted murder, according to court documents and police.

One of those men, 20-year-old Jamel Wilcox of Oakland, is still on the loose, and police say he should be considered armed and dangerous. The Berkeley Police Department is asking for the public’s help to find him. Authorities ask anyone who sees Wilcox to call 911 to reach the nearest police agency. Anyone who knows his location can call BPD’s Homicide Unit at 510-981-5741, the agency said.


On May 1, Berkeley police were called to 62nd and King streets to investigate a report of gunfire between at least two people. Some parked vehicles were struck during the exchange but no one was wounded, police said at the time.

According to court papers, Wilcox and 23-year-old Deandre Bess of Oakland got into a verbal altercation at about 6:40 p.m. with Justin Lofton, 22, of Oakland. Police say Wilcox shot at Lofton and Lofton fired back.

Police recovered multiple casings at the scene. In Lofton’s vehicle, which was a Gig carshare rental according to court documents, police found “a shattered window, broken rear windshield wiper and an entry hole for a bullet on the roof lining.” Surveillance video helped police identify Lofton, according to court papers. According to police, he denied have a Gig membership but records showed that he had rented a Gig vehicle at the time of the shooting.

After they arrested her, a 21-year-old Oakland woman, Isabella Saturn, told police there had been a dispute between the men just before the shooting. She said she drove Lofton away after the exchange, according to police.

Police say Bess drove Wilcox to and from the shooting. According to court papers, he identified himself in liquor store surveillance footage just before the shooting and told police he remembered a shooting but did not know where it had happened.

Police arrested Bess on May 17. He has been charged with the felony of being an accessory after the fact. Bess has one conviction, from 2016, for carrying a concealed firearm within a vehicle. He was sentenced to probation in that case.

Police arrested Lofton and Saturn on May 23, according to court papers. Along with Wilcox, they were charged Tuesday with attempted murder and shooting at an occupied vehicle.

Lofton is also facing one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon. According to court papers, he was convicted in 2017 of carrying a concealed firearm within a vehicle and sentenced to probation. Police documents described that weapon as a machine gun.

Lofton and Saturn are scheduled to enter pleas in the case June 7, according to court records online. They are both set for probation revocation hearings that day too. They are being held without bail. Saturn is on probation for grand theft, according to court papers.

Bess is set for a probation revocation hearing the same day, according to court records. No bail amount was listed for him.

In 2019, Berkeley has had 15 confirmed incidents of gunfire; two of them saw young men wounded and a third shooting was fatal. See Berkeleyside’s gunfire map to learn more.

Read more about shootings in Berkeley in past Berkeleyside coverage.