Police are investigating a homicide that took place on Grizzly Peak Boulevard on Sunday. Photo: Lee Horowitz

Police have released a description of the man believed to be responsible for a shooting early Sunday morning that left a Fremont student dead outside a car on Grizzly Peak Boulevard.

This week, the University of California Police Department identified 21-year-old Alverto Santana-Silva of Fremont as the victim. Police believe Santana-Silva was shot after he tried to break up an argument or disturbance between two groups of strangers.

“We believe he intervened, then some of the people left, and somebody came back and shot him,” said UC Berkeley Police Lt. Marc DeCoulode on Tuesday afternoon.

DeCoulode said the shooting occurred on the shoulder of Grizzly Peak near signpost 16, between Centennial Drive and South Park Drive, just before 5:38 a.m. Police received multiple 911 calls about the crime, DeCoulode said.

DeCoulode said the argument had taken place 20 minutes earlier, and Santana-Silva had apparently tried to break it up, even though he didn’t know the people involved.

A man and his female companion left the area, but the man later returned and shot several times at Santana-Silva as he sat in a car, DeCoulode said. Santana-Silva was pronounced dead at the scene after first responders arrived.

Grizzly Peak Boulevard was closed for much of the day Sunday in the area around signpost 16 while police conducted their investigation.

The shooter was described as a Hispanic or Filipino man who appeared to be in his mid-20s or mid-30s. He was about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 200 pounds, with a shaved or bald head, DeCoulode said. He had been accompanied by an Asian female, who appeared to be 5 feet 3 inches tall, with an average build. She wore her black hair in a ponytail.

There may have been two other vehicles at the scene at the time of the shooting, including a white Chevy Suburban or similar vehicle, and a red Chevy Caprice with chrome wheels or spokes, DeCoulode said.

Maribel Santana, the victim’s sister, told the San Francisco Chronicle that her brother was a student at Ohlone College in Fremont who liked to crack jokes and enjoyed working out. “I’m upset that my brother was the one trying to separate the fight and ended up being the victim,” she said.

Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call UCPD at 510-642-6760, and ask to be transferred to the Criminal Investigations Bureau. 

Police investigate homicide on Grizzly Peak Boulevard [05.12.13]

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...