Flash: Police Find Shooting Suspect in South Berkeley Dumpster

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday June 02, 2009 - 08:10:00 PM

After a lengthy search, police found the man suspected of firing shots from a car in West Berkeley Tuesday afternoon. 

Berkeley police found the shooter hiding in a dumpster in the backyard of an Ashby Avenue apartment building at 6:02 p.m.  

Officers from the Berkeley Police Department cordoned off a two-block square perimeter— including Shattuck Avenue, Ashby Avenue, Russell and Fulton streets—around 3:30 p.m. to look for a suspect seen by a Berkeley police patrol officer firing a gun from a moving car 15 minutes earlier. 

The officer heard gunfire coming from a white Infiniti sedan at Eighth Street and Bancroft Way and pursued the car, finally turning south onto Shattuck, toward Ashby, Berkeley Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said. 

The suspect’s car was slowed by heavy traffic on southbound Shattuck as it approached Ashby, and it collided with a parked, unoccupied car in the 2900 block of Shattuck Avenue, Kusmiss said. 

At that point, the suspect leapt out of the car, ran southbound on Shattuck, then east on Ashby Avenue. Berkeley police closed Shattuck between Ashby and Russell, and started redirecting pedestrians and drivers. They were helped in their search by the Berkeley Police Department SWAT team, who were training nearby, and an Oakland Police Department canine unit. 

Kusmiss discounted earlier reports of people present at the corner of Ashby and Shattuck who said the suspect had fired on police officers after crashing his car. 

SWAT team members found the suspect hiding in a dumpster in the rear yard of an apartment on the 2100 block of Ashby. 

Officers found a parked car at Eighth and Bancroft, a green Mercury Tracer, with bullet holes on the back bumper and two flat tires. 

Police have not found anyone injured by the shooting.  

The Berkeley Police Department is asking for the community’s help with this investigation. Anyone who may have information regarding the crime is urged to call the Berkeley Homicide Detail at 981-5741 (office) or 981-5900 (non-emergency dispatch line). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call the Bay Area Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).