A Berkeley man, described by neighbors as a private security guard and a father, was fatally gunned down in his home on the morning of June 19. Although police initially refused to release the victim’s identity, they later said he was Charles Faison, 39.
The shooting, which took place in the 2000 block of Emerson Street between Adeline Street and Shattuck Avenue, was phoned in to the Berkeley Fire Department at 12:18 p.m. as an injured man inside his house, said Berkeley police spokesperson Officer Andrew Frankel.
When firefighters arrived at the home, they found the man on the floor with at least one gunshot wound to the head, according to a neighbor who asked not to be identified.
A next-door neighbor said the victim had worked as a security guard, taking jobs at nightclubs and private parties.
Minutes after police arrived, a man staggered up to the scene, distraught and crying out, “That’s my family in there. Please, let me see them. Oh Jesus, oh no! I’ve got to see them now.”
He recovered briefly, then cried out, “Where’s my niece and nephews? Where’s my niece and nephews.” He collapsed seconds later, falling to his hand and knees as a police officer tried to comfort him.
One of the victim’s sons also arrived minutes later. The victim’s father and the mother of his children were also on hand.
“He was a good man,” said a neighbor. “All he did was go to work and take care of his family.”
Frankel’s formal announcement of the shooting death described the homicide as the year’s eighth, a figure that doesn’t include a fatal shooting by a Berkeley police officer of a knife-wielding woman that investigators have declared a justifiable homicide.
In all of 2007, the city recorded only five slayings. If the rate in the first six months of 2008 continues through the rest of the year, this year’s total will be more than double last year.
Police are asking anyone with information about the crime to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or the BPD Homicide Detail at 981-5741. Callers may also reach the department’s general non-emergency line at 981-5900. The 800 number is the line for Bay Area Crime Stoppers, which promises callers confidentiality and the possibility of up to $2,000 in cash for successful leads in any felony investigation.