Teen with gun spotted near Berkeley High, detained

Berkeley High police cruiser. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Berkeley High School has one police officer assigned to campus (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso

Berkeley authorities detained two people — one of whom was spotted with a gun — Wednesday afternoon in what school officials say was a continuation of problems that began downtown Tuesday when a group of teens assaulted a BHS student.

Officers have not yet recovered a firearm, according to the 7:19 p.m. statement released by Berkeley High School Principal Sam Pasarow, but they are continuing to search for it in the area around campus.

According to the statement, a BHS staff member spotted a non-student with a gun at 4:15 p.m. near the eastern side of campus, on Milvia Street.

Berkeley police officers responded immediately, Pasarow said, and detained that person and a second non-student.

These individuals, as well as several BHS students, were engaging in posturing, threatening behavior this afternoon when the weapon was seen,” Pasarow wrote. “We believe that this afternoon’s incident is related to an incident that happened yesterday evening in downtown Berkeley, in which a Berkeley High student was assaulted by a group of teenagers.”

He did not elaborate on Tuesday’s assault.

Pasarow said in the email that the school is conducting its own investigation and working with police “and neighboring school districts.” He did not release any information about the age or gender of the person with a gun, or whether that individual had been arrested. Berkeleyside has requested additional information.

Pasarow wrote: “Our students’ safety is of paramount importance, and I want to publicly thank our BHS safety officers, along with BPD, for responding quickly and professionally, and keeping everyone safe this afternoon at BHS.”

He noted that it is currently finals week, and that extra safety staff will be on duty, along with a visible presence from administrators, “throughout the day.”

Pasarow said BHS will work with police “to ensure that extra officers will be available should we need them.” He also promised to share “any additional, relevant information” with the community “immediately” if it should “come to light.”

Berkeley Police Lt. Dan Montgomery said officers are still investigating what prompted Tuesday’s fights on Shattuck Avenue.

We do think the disturbances caused in front of the pizza parlor, the recovery of the gun on MLK and a later disturbance at the movie theater were all related,” Montgomery said. An 18-year-old from Berkeley was arrested in connection with a loaded gun police say he was carrying.

In related news, the Berkeley Unified School District School Board voted last week not to accept a $125,000 grant that would have helped pay for an additional school resource officer at the high school level. A Berkeleyside story is forthcoming.

Update, 8:34 p.m. Montgomery said the person who was arrested is a 17-year-old male who does not attend Berkeley High School. No weapon has been recovered. (The headline of this story was updated once this information became available.)

Have a question about a local public safety incident? Write to crime@berkeleyside.com. Photographs and videos are always appreciated.

Related:
Berkeley teen arrested with gun amid fights downtown (01.20.16)

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Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.org. Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.