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Answers sought after Haste Street stabbing

Mike Dinoffria, Special to the Daily Planet
Saturday June 01, 2002

Victim was apparently,
‘in the wrong place at the
wrong time’ police said


Flowers and photographs marked the spot where Roysel Marshall-Darrow was stabbed to death Wednesday evening. Family and friends gathered at the site on Haste Street near Telegraph Avenue to remember the man they called a good father, son, husband and friend. They made a small, temporary memorial against the outside wall of Rochdale UC co-op, and told stories about the gregarious man they knew.  

All in attendance said Marshall-Darrow was a person unlikely to be involved in a violent altercation.  

A stranger stabbed Marshall-Darrow three times while he was putting money into a parking meter on the 2400 block of Haste Street, police and witnesses said. Police arrested a suspect, but say they don’t know whyMarshall-Darrow was murdered. 

“A motive hasn’t been determined,” said Berkeley police Lt. Ed McBride. “It appeared the victim was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”  

Lamar Mitchell, 23, of Pittsburgh is in police custody under suspicion of the stabbing. An arraignment originally set for Friday was rescheduled for Tuesday. 

Lt. McBride said the attacker approached Marshall-Darrow on the north side of Haste Street. Marshall-Darrow turned from the attacker before being stabbed repeatedly: once in the heart, once in the side and one time in the arm.  

Marshall-Darrow was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland and pronounced dead upon arrival. He died as a result of stab wounds to his chest, said Supervising Coroner Frank Gentle of the Alameda County Coroner’s Office. 

Marshall-Darrow, 41, was born in Berkeley. Friend Gavin Housch said that he loved Telegraph Avenue and enjoyed getting coffee there periodically, including when he attended U.C. Berkeley twenty years ago. He lived in a home in Hamet in Southern California with his wife and three children and commuted to Northern California a couple of times a month to work. He was a trained electrician who worked as a power lineman for San Francisco Muni. A memorial is scheduled 3 p.m. Sunday at the Rose Garden in Berkeley.