Berkeley neighbors see increased violence

September 19, 2008 7:49:16 PM PDT
Berkeley Police are dealing with a sudden increase in violent gun-related crimes that started early on Thursday. Friday morning, they had reports of shots fired at Sacramento and Russell Streets. That was just two blocks away from the scene of a double homicide early Thursday morning and the shooting of a woman Thursday night. People living in that area are frightened.

Around 1 a.m. on Thursday, 23-year-old Kelvin Earl Davis and his friend, 42-year-old Kevin Antoine Parker were shot and killed in the 1400 block of Derby Street.

Bay Area Homicide Maps: click here

Around 10 p.m. Thursday night, a woman across the street from where the two men were killed, was shot and injured while taking out her trash. Police say someone mourning the death of two men, fired a gun and she was an unintended victim.

Then Friday morning a few blocks away, several rounds were fired, but police say there are no victims they know of. Shamika Wilson narrowly escaped being hit as a few bullets ripped through her house.

"I heard five to eight shots, I ran outside," said Wilson.

"We don't have any definitive evidence that these shootings are linked, but it's likely there are connections between them," said Sergeant Mary Kusmiss.

Karen Casino has lived on Derby for 35 years, the double homicide was just outside her front door. She says she's scared and just sent out a note to all her neighbors, asking for contact information to create a neighborhood directory. She also let them know she's asked the mayor and police for more police presence.

"I would like a police car to sit there at night," said Casino.

"Having some kind of uniformed presence is a comfort to the community, but we would rather focus our attention and move throughout that area because we do know that these suspects are moving around," said Kismuss.

Parker was the father of eight children, Kevin Junior is the youngest. His fifth birthday is next week.

"Lot of hurt, lot of hurt and pain," said Barbara Madison.

Police say they are working on a motive for the homicides which are the ninth and tenth for Berkeley so far this year. That's already twice the total for all of last year. The police are planning a community meeting to address the violence. It will be Tuesday night at San Pablo Park.


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