Elderly Woman Arrested in West Berkeley Shooting By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday December 30, 2005

A 78-year-old Berkeley woman was arrested early last Friday morning after she allegedly shot another woman in the abdomen near the corner of Sacramento and Russell streets. 

Police dispatchers received a call reporting the shooting at 4:49 a.m., and arrived to find the 36-year-old victim suffering from a minor wound. She was taken to the Highland Hospital emergency room in Oakland, where she was treated and released. 

Police arrested Ruth May Thomas on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon—a .32-caliber revolver—and two related charges. She was taken to a psychiatric hospital for observation, then transferred to the Santa Rita County Jail in Dublin. 

“She just walked up and shot this younger girl and we still don’t know why,” said Officer Shira Warren, the Berkeley Police Department’s acting public information officer. 

Thomas was arraigned on one count of assault with a deadly weapon on Thursday the 29th, along with two so-called enhancements that can lead to a more severe sentence—use of a firearm in commission and causing great bodily injury, said Alameda County prosecutor Chris Lamiero.  

The alleged shooter has no known criminal record, said Lamiero.