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Party in south Berkeley ends in shooting

By Kurtis Alexander and Katie Flynn, Daily Planet Staff
Monday July 08, 2002

A Hip Hop dance party went awry late Saturday night when gunfire erupted at a South Berkeley arts center where more than 1,000 party-goers crammed performance space scheduled for 300 people, according to the Berkeley Police Department. 

Two people were wounded in the crossfire, which broke out at about 11:15 p.m. both inside and outside of the packed beyond-capicity Crucible, at 1036 Ashby Ave, authorities said. 

Berkeley officers had arrived at the Crucible about 45 minutes earlier to assist with the unexpected crowds exiting the DJ show, according to police. When gunshots were fired, Berkeley police were joined by officers from seven other law enforcement agencies to help locate the shooters amid the crowd. Gunfire continued as the backup teams arrived. 

Several blocks along Ashby Avenue and the nearby Interstate 80 freeway entrance were shut down by police during the search. The perpetrators were not found. 

SHOOTINGS/From Page 1 


“It was a massive fiasco of a party gone sour,” said Sgt. Garen Nielsen of the Berkeley Police Department, noting that more than 100 officers ultimately joined in the crowd control and search efforts. 

A nearby resident, who did not want his name mentioned, said he came home around 1 a.m. Sunday to find people swarming Murray Street, an ally between the industrial lots adjacent to the Crucible. 

“This whole ally was completely packed with thousands of people and surrounded by cops,” he said. “Police were staked out in the (Orchard Supply Hardware) parking lot.” 

Police say the south Berkeley neighborhood was cleared by 2 a.m., and no arrests were made. Police officers from Oakland, Albany, Emeryville, UC Berkeley, BART and the California Highway Patrol assisted in the incident. 

One of the victims of the shooting was transported to Alameda County Hospital and the other victim refused medical treatment. Details of the injuries could not be obtained Sunday. 

The dance show was sponsored by local promoter Eugene Cockerman. The promoter, nor employees at the Crucible could be reached before press time.