Man Fatally Shot Outside Russell Street Apartments

By Richard Brenneman
Friday March 07, 2008

A San Leandro man was fatally shot Monday night on California Street, just seven blocks north of the scene of another murder eight days earlier. 

Ceron Burns, 25, was gunned down as he stood outside near Rosewood Manor apartments at 1615 Russell St. 

Seven blocks to the south, Brandon Terrell Jones was shot down on Harmon Street near the corner of California on Feb. 24, just 18 minutes less than eight days before the Burns shooting. That murder remains unsolved, and Berkeley police are offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer. 

The city’s emergency switchboard logged the first of several calls reporting the shooting at 11:32 p.m., according to Berkeley police spokesperson Sgt. Mary Kusmiss. 

Arriving at the apartment building, officers found Burns lying beside a parked car, bleeding from several gunshot wounds. 

Berkeley Fire Department paramedics rushed the injured man to the Highland Hospital Trauma Center, where doctors pronounced him dead at 12:04 a.m. 

Sgt. Kusmiss asked anyone with information about either murder to call the BPD Homicide Detail at 981-5741, or the department’s non-emergency line at 981-5900. 

Burns’s death marks the city’s fourth homicide of the year.  

Kent Washington Evans died Jan. 13, 12 days after he was stabbed outside a bar at 3212 Adeline St. Police arrested a suspect in that incident, Roy Smith Jr., 71, of Oakland. 

The stabbing followed a confrontation between the two after Smith allegedly insulted a woman who had accompanied Evans to the bar. 

Police have listed those three deaths as murders, but not the year’s fourth fatality, Anita Gay, who was shot by a Berkeley police officer outside her apartment in the 1700 block of Ward Street Feb. 16. Police said the woman was shot in the back after she approached relatives with a large kitchen knife.  

Conflicting reports about the shooting have led to an investigation by the Berkeley Police Review Commission. The incident is also being reviewed by the BPD’s Homicide and Internal Affairs units and by the Alameda County District Attorney’s office.