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Bay Area News Briefs

By Mike Aldax

February 18, 2008

Berkeley woman threatened daughters before being shot by police

Before she was shot and killed by a Berkeley police officer Saturday night, a 51-year-old woman raised a large kitchen-style knife at two of her daughters, endangering their lives, police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said Sunday.

"One can close a gap in seconds with a knife,'' Kusmiss said.

The officer, a 5-year-veteran of the Police Department, arrived at the apartment complex at 1725 Ward St. at about 8 p.m. on reports of a domestic disturbance. The same officer had responded to the apartment a little more than an hour earlier after receiving a report that somebody had been breaking windows, Kusmiss said.

When the officer arrived for the second time, he found Anita Gay, of Berkeley, standing on a porch landing of the apartment holding a large kitchen-style knife, according to Kusmiss. The officer brandished a gun and tried to convince Gay to drop the knife.

Two of Gay's daughters came out of the apartment door onto the landing. That's when Gay allegedly turned her attention from the officer and raised her knife at her daughters, who were standing a "few feet away,'' Kusmiss said.

The officer then discharged his firearm at least two times at Gay, according to Kusmiss.

Gay died at the scene.

Kusmiss said given the proximity of the suspect and her family members "the officer felt the two women's lives were imminently in danger."

Police believe Gay was responsible for the broken windows, Kusmiss said, however it was not immediately clear what had prompted the domestic dispute.

Family members told police Gay may have been under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the incident.

Kusmiss said that Gay had spent time at the residence but could not confirm whether she lived in the apartment or her exact relation to the two women whom she allegedly threatened with the knife.

"We think it's important to share that no officer wants to be in the position to use deadly force, and yet all officers are trained to,'' said Kusmiss.

The last officer-involved shooting in Berkeley was in July 2003 when a Berkeley officer and a couple of Oakland officers shot and killed a bank robbery suspect at a Wells Fargo bank branch.

The case remains under investigation by Berkeley police homicide detectives and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. The officer has been placed on administrative leave.

San Leandro man shot at wedding reception, dies in hospital

One of two men shot at a wedding reception in Fremont Saturday night has died from his injuries, according to the Alameda County coroner's bureau.

Velon Mikell, a 38-year-old San Leandro resident, and a second man were reportedly shot at a banquet hall at 37270 Niles Blvd. near Sullivan Underpass at about 8:50 p.m., police reported.

Police found the two men suffering from gunshot wounds inside the banquet hall, police reported. Both were transported to local trauma centers, where Mikell reportedly died.

Police interviewed wedding attendees and were told that a group of people had reportedly been turned away from the banquet hall shortly before the shooting. They reportedly left, but returned with a handgun and shot the two victims.

Police have not determined if the shooting was gang-related, but the Southern Alameda County Gang Task Force is assisting in the investigation, police reported.

Health officials lift advisory against water surrounding raw sewage spill

Health officials Sunday lifted an advisory against public use of the water surrounding the site of Thursday's raw sewage spill at San Quentin State Prison.

All public-use areas sampled near the spill site Friday and Saturday comply with state standards, officials said.

The only area that remains out of compliance is on prison property and is not accessible to the public.

The spill occurred because of a pump station malfunction. About 1,500 gallons of untreated sewage leaked from a manhole cover into a parking lot on the northeast end of the prison, and some reached bay waters, officials said.

Soon after the spill, advisory signs were posted in popular boating and windsurfing access points including Point San Quentin, the Corte Madera Creek, and the Greenbrae Boardwalk area.

Health officials would not lift the advisory until the tests showed compliance for two consecutive days in all public waters.

Testing was suspended Sunday and will not happen again until at least Tuesday, officials said.

Woman robbed Bebe store at knifepoint

A woman managed to evade Walnut Creek police Saturday night after she allegedly robbed a clothing store at knifepoint, police reported Sunday.

Just before 7 p.m., officers responded to a report of a robbery at Bebe, located at 1243 Broadway Plaza. The suspect attempted to shoplift clothing from the store, but was confronted by store personnel, police said. She then reportedly brandished a knife, fled to a vehicle and drove away.

Police caught up to the vehicle, described as a late-model burgundy Lexus sport utility vehicle, a short time later and began a brief pursuit.

The vehicle was last seen speeding on state Highway 24 approaching Orinda.

The suspect is described as a black woman, standing approximately 5 feet 5 inches and weighing 120 pounds. She was last seen with her hair pulled back close to her head in a bun, wearing a long-sleeve white shirt, white tights, tennis shoes and a black backpack, police reported.

Contra Costa stabbing victim identified

The Contra Costa County coroner's office has released the name of 41-year-old man who was fatally stabbed in Richmond Thursday morning.

Chester Wilson, a Richmond resident, was found lying in the street in the 2300 block of Esmond Avenue at about 7:11 a.m. suffering from multiple stab wounds, Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan said.

Police were alerted to the stabbing by a resident in the area who reported seeing a man rolling around on the sidewalk. The person then reported that the man had rolled into the street.

Wilson was in critical condition when officers found him. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Gagan said.

According to Gagan, it appeared that the attack began inside the residence, then moved to the front porch and eventually to the sidewalk. Investigators also believe Wilson knew his attacker, Gagan said Thursday.

Updates on the status of the investigation were not immediately available Sunday.

Petaluma man engaged in high-speed pursuit, then crashed

A 25-year-old man who allegedly led police on a high-speed pursuit in Petaluma Saturday suffered major injuries after crashing a vehicle later that night in unincorporated Sonoma County, according to the California Highway Patrol.

At about midnight, Sean Gregory Ancic, of Petaluma, was driving a silver Mitsubishi Eclipse northbound on state Highway 1 north of Bay Hill Road when the vehicle ran off the roadway and overturned multiple times, coming to a rest on its wheels, the CHP reported. Ancic was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with major injuries.

The vehicle was traveling about 55 mph at the time of the crash and it appears as though Ancic was not wearing a seatbelt, the CHP reported. He is under investigation for drunken driving.

According to the CHP, Ancic is also under investigation by Petaluma police for allegedly leading officers on a chase that reached speeds in excess of 120 mph earlier in the evening.

Two separate Tenderloin gunshot victims taken to hospital

Two gunshot victims were taken to a San Francisco hospital with injuries sustained in separate early morning shootings that occurred at about the same time Sunday, a San Francisco police officer said.

One of the shootings occurred at about 2:15 a.m. in the area of Taylor and Turk streets. Officers in the area heard or witnessed the shooting, which left one victim in critical condition, the officer said.

Police made an arrest following the shooting, and the victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital in critical condition.

Another shooting took place at about the same time in a taxi in the area of 16th and Harrison streets, the officer said. One victim was transported to San Francisco General Hospital with a gunshot wound to the buttocks.

Two suspects were taken into custody, according to the officer. The victim was reported in stable condition, he said.

Two gunshot victims found in San Jose Sunday morning

Two people were found suffering gunshot wounds in San Jose early Sunday morning, Police Department spokesman Enrique Garcia said.

Officers responded at about 2:20 a.m. to Monterey Highway and Senter Road and discovered two shooting victims, Garcia said. The victims had apparently been shot at a different location and were driven to the area before police were called, Garcia said.

The condition of the victims following the shooting was unknown, he said.

Kentfield man struck by SUV on Sonoma County highway

A Kentfield man was struck by a sport utility vehicle Sunday and dragged 100 feet along a Sonoma County highway after he lost control of his motorcycle and was chucked into oncoming traffic, authorities said.

Joshua Smith, 24, suffered internal bleeding and major pelvic injuries following the 1 p.m. crash on state Highway 1 near the border of Sonoma and Marin counties, the CHP said.

Smith dropped his motorcycle on a sharp curve on the northbound lane. He was thrown from the bike and landed in the path of a southbound Ford Explorer, the CHP said.

The SUV's driver, Jeremiah Puget, 31, of Sebastopol, couldn't slow down enough to avoid Smith, striking him at about 25 mph, the CHP said.

Smith was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. His current condition is unknown.

Two-alarm fire in Oakland

A two-alarm fire broke out in a two-story building in Oakland early Sunday morning, a fire dispatcher said.

The fire department received a call at 5:32 a.m. reporting a working fire in the rear of a building at 1673 8th St.

Firefighters had the blaze under control by 6:02 a.m., a dispatcher said.

Masked gunman robs Walnut Creek man

A masked gunman reportedly robbed a man in Walnut Creek Saturday night, police reported Sunday.

The victim was walking on North Main Street near Sunnyvale Avenue at about 11:30 p.m. when a man approached him, demanded property and brandished a pistol, police reported.

The suspect took the victim's backpack and wallet and fled on foot. He was described as a white man, standing about 5 feet 10 inches and wearing a big black jacket with a hood and a mask, police reported.

Police searched the area with a dog and recovered some of the victim's property, but did not find the suspect, police reported.




Copyright © 2008 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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