Friday night gunfire at city building under investigation in Berkeley

It was at least the third instance of gunfire in a single week in Berkeley, which has seen an increase in gun violence in 2020.

Police investigated gunfire at a city building on 10th Street near University Avenue on Friday night. White dots in the photograph show where bullets struck. Photo: BPD

A city of Berkeley building was damaged by gunfire Friday night, but no one appears to have been hurt, authorities said Monday.

It was at least the third instance of gunfire in a single week in Berkeley, which has seen an increase in gun violence in 2020.

Numerous local residents called police just before 11:20 p.m. Friday to report gunfire in the area of 10th Street and University Avenue in northwest Berkeley, officials said. Police ultimately found nearly a dozen shell casings on 10th Street, as well as “several bullet holes to the rear of 1011 University Avenue, which was unoccupied.”

On Saturday morning, the city said, police returned to the site for additional investigation. The front of the building at 1011 University (the former location of wine shop Premier Cru), is one of nine voting centers in the city. The voting area was not damaged by the gunfire and the city does not believe the shooting had any connection to election activities.


City spokesman Matthai Chakko told Berkeleyside on Monday that police believe the shooter fired south on 10th Street at someone on the sidewalk or in the street, ultimately striking a back doorway into the building.

“Had they intended to intimidate, they would have shot up the doorway from the sidewalk, instead of up the street,” according to a BPD statement. The bullets struck a rear door in an alcove off of 10th Street, said BPD. “There is no signage indicating the affected doorway is connected to a polling place.”

There was no damage or vandalism to the front of the building Friday night and police said the block has no recent history of violence that would require stepped up patrols in the area this week.

Other recent gunfire in Berkeley

Incidents involving gunfire are up in Berkeley for the third straight year, according to a Berkeleyside analysis.

Already in 2020, four people have been killed and at least 10 have been wounded in more than 30 shootings. Last year, one person was killed and three people were wounded.

The most recent death, of Sereinat’e Henderson, a pregnant Berkeley mother of a 10-month-old boy, hit the community particularly hard. There was also an outcry earlier in the year when Seth Smith, a 19-year-old UC Berkeley student, was shot to death during a nighttime stroll in an unprovoked attack.

Last week, someone opened fire in broad daylight in South Berkeley, damaging multiple vehicles but wounding no one. Several days later, a mother on Idaho Street in southwest Berkeley was reading to her 11-year-old daughter in bed when gunfire struck the ceiling above their heads.

Also last week, a man with a gunshot wound walked into Alta Bates hospital asking for help; he declined to tell authorities what happened but police believe the incident may have taken place on Blake Street.

Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.com. Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.