Page One

Suspect in Berkeley Ashkenaz Shooting to Appear in Court Today

By Sasha Lekach
Thursday June 13, 2013 - 10:16:00 PM

A man arrested in connection with a March shooting and robbery at Berkeley's Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center is scheduled to appear in court today, an Alameda County district attorney's office spokesman said. 

Christopher Washington, 25, of Rodeo, will have a plea hearing for five robbery charges and two attempted murder charges stemming from the March 16 incident at the center, according to district attorney's office spokesman Eamon O'Connor. 

He was arrested later that morning after two armed suspects entered the music venue shortly after midnight and demanded cash from employees. He was allegedly one of two suspects that shot and wounded two employees before fleeing from the center, located at 1317 San Pablo Ave. 

One of the employees injured was Larry Chin, the center's managing director and a Concord resident who has worked at Ashkenaz for three decades. 

He was shot in the head, while another employee, who has been at the center for five years, was struck in the arm. 

Both were released from the hospital in the days following the incident and were sent home to recover. 

The robbery happened after a 40th anniversary show at the international music and dance venue and teaching center. 

Following the violent robbery, a benefit concert was planned and the center was reviewing its security measures. 

As of today, the second suspect remains at large, Berkeley police Officer Jamie Perkins said. 

She said there are not any updates from the ongoing robbery investigation. 

Washington remains in police custody and will appear at Department 112 the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland at 9 a.m.