Police are investigating a homicide on Grizzly Peak Boulevard early this morning. A reader shared this photograph, just above the kids train area, and said cars are not being allowed to pass. Photo: Lee Horowitz
The crime scene on Grizzly Peak Boulevard on May 12, 2013. Photo: Lee Horowitz

The University of California Police Department is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the murder of Alberto Santana-Silva, a 21-year-old Fremont student who was shot and killed after he intervened in an argument or disturbance between two groups of strangers on Grizzly Peak Boulevard three years ago.

Early in the morning of Sunday, May 12, 2013, Santana-Silva and his friends were in a vehicle turnout along the west shoulder of Grizzly Peak, overlooking the bay. Santana-Silva intervened in what appears to have been a fight among a group nearby that included the suspect, according to UCPD, who released a statement about the reward Tuesday.

The suspect and his friends left the area but returned a short time later with a handgun. The suspect confronted Santana-Silva as he sat in his own vehicle, preparing to leave. The suspect shot Santana-Silva, who drove a short distance before dying. His car came to rest in a ditch on the side of the road south of signpost 16 on Grizzly Peak, said UCPD.

Police are looking for this man in connection with the homicide of Alberto Santana-Silva. Image: UCPD
Police are looking for this man in connection with the homicide of Alberto Santana-Silva. Image: UCPD

Details of the suspect were released three days after the killing. He is described as a Hispanic or Filipino man in his mid-20s to mid-30s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 200 pounds, with his hair close to his head, possibly tied into a ponytail. He was wearing a white T-shirt and a black sweatshirt on the night of the shooting.

The suspect was accompanied by several others, including a Hispanic, Asian or Filipino female of similar age, about 5 foot 3 and 160 pounds, with black hair in a ponytail. She was wearing a black shirt and black shorts.

Vehicles possibly associated with the suspect include: a Chevrolet Caprice model year 2000 or similar sedan, red in color, with a raised body and large chrome wheels with spokes and thin tires; a Chevrolet Suburban or similar SUV, white in color; and an unknown model dark-colored compact car with a chrome exhaust pipe.

The stretch of Grizzly Peak between Centennial Drive and Claremont Avenue is within Oakland city limits, but much of the unimproved land west of that roadway belongs to the University of California, maintained as an ecological study area and open space.

UCPD said it was offering the $10,000 reward on the third anniversary of Santana-Silva’s murder, “in hopes that someone with information about this crime will come forward so the suspect can be held accountable.” UCPD said the reward is funded from a variety of criminal justice sources and “does not impact student costs or affect university services.”

Santana’s sister told the San Francisco Chronicle shortly after the murder 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.

UCPD asks anyone with information about this crime to contact Detective John Caires, UCPD Criminal Investigations Bureau, on 510-642-0482 or jcaires@berkeley.edu. Anonymous information can also be provided by voice, text or email to the CalTip line: 510-664-8477 or cal@tipnow.com.

Police release suspect information from Grizzly Peak homicide (05.15.13)
Police investigate homicide on Grizzly Peak Boulevard (05.12.13)

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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...