Authorities, including Berkeley police, surrounded a house in the 1600 block of Blake Street at around 7:30 a.m this morning. Photo: Catherine Ference

The photo, left, shows the scene Thursday morning at around 7:30 a.m. in the 1600 block of Blake Street in Berkeley, east of California Street.

Witnesses describe a SWAT-like team surrounding a house on that block. One said there was a military-style van behind police cars with a man on top behind a bulletproof disc telling someone to come out.

“There was a SWAT team, an armored vehicle plus about eight black and whites with at least 12 officers on the scene,” wrote one neighbor by email.

One neighbor was told by a police officer that they were there to execute a search warrant.

Another said she saw a man in a shirt that said “negotiator” on the back.

The house at 1634 Blake St. was the scene of a homicide in March 2011.

At around 9:30 a.m., Berkeleyside received several tips from readers that a separate, similar type of raid was happening in the 1500 or 1600 block of Julia Street, eight blocks south of Blake Street. Again, this information is unconfirmed.

We are actively seeking information from authorities and will update this story as it develops.

Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out our All the News grid.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...