Photo: Kamahl Middleton
Photo: Kamahl Middleton

Two men have been charged with murder after the shooting death in December of an El Sobrante man in a West Berkeley parking lot.

Carl Young Jr., 20, and 18-year-old Khalil Leroy Phanor, both of San Leandro, were charged Monday with murder, second-degree robbery and assault with a firearm by the Alameda County district attorney’s office.

Berkeley police arrested Young on Thursday in Oakland, but Phanor is still at large. Officers arrested a 17-year-old male on Thursday as well, but his status was unavailable from authorities Monday because of privacy laws protecting minors.

The fatal shooting took place Dec. 29 on San Pablo Avenue, just north of University Avenue in West Berkeley, in a parking lot used by the 99 Cents Only store and other businesses, and adjacent to Everett & Jones Barbecue.

Thirty-six-year-old Kamahl Middleton was pronounced dead at the scene. A woman who was with him was taken to the hospital for treatment, but survived the attack. The San Francisco Chronicle identified the woman as Middleton’s girlfriend, and said Middleton had arranged a deal to sell medical marijuana to someone on the night he was killed.

The woman who was with Middleton the night he was killed posted a photograph of the two of them on her Facebook page in late January, adding, “He made me so happy. I love him so much.” (Berkeleyside has withheld her name for safety reasons because the investigation is ongoing.) She wrote earlier in the month that they had been together “12 years 24/7.”

Middleton’s cause of death was multiple shotgun pellet wounds of the shoulder and chest, according to the Alameda County coroner’s office.

Middleton identified himself on his LinkedIn page as the chief marketing officer for Natural Energy Company, dating back to 1996. Middleton became a paraplegic after a car accident in high school.

According to court papers, which provided the narrative basis for Young’s arrest, “The victim was shot and killed during the course of a robbery. A second victim was shot in the arm but survived. Carl Young was developed as a suspect. Young was identified in a line-up as a person who participated in this robbery. Young was arrested on a Ramey [warrant] and interviewed and he admitted to his role in these crimes.”

A warrant was scheduled to have been issued Monday afternoon for Phanor’s arrest.

The penalties for the murder charge against Young and Phanor could be stiffer because the fatal shooting took place during the course of a robbery. According to court papers, Phanor was the person responsible for firing the shotgun during the robbery.

Police find empty house after reported hostage call (02.21.15)
Berkeley police arrest 2 after December killing (02.20.15)
Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Feb. 5-11 (02.20.15)

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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...