Darion Brown. Photo: ACSO
Darion Brown. Photo: ACSO

A 21-year-old man from Pittsburg who was arrested in Berkeley on Wednesday with a gun authorities say was used to kill a young woman in Oakland earlier that day has been charged with murder.

Berkeley officers arrested Darion Brown at 10:30 a.m. June 8 after being called to 1201 The Alameda for a report of a man who was “acting aggressive” toward Chevron gas station customers, according to court papers.

The caller told police the man was not allowing customers to leave and “things were ‘escalating.’”

A Berkeley officer who arrived on the scene spoke to Brown and, based on his demeanor and actions, the officer wrote, detained Brown for a mental health evaluation.

Brown had no ID on him, but he said police could look in his backpack for it, according to court documents.

Inside the bag, the officer said he found an unloaded pistol that had been reported stolen. Brown was arrested in connection with carrying the concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of stolen property.

According to court papers, Brown was not allowed to have a gun because of a juvenile case in Contra Costa County in May 2011 for felony assault with a firearm. No other prior convictions were listed.

Brown has one prior strike, according to court documents, and a conviction in the new case would also count as a strike.

The Oakland Police Department had linked Brown to the killing of Alexis Ervin shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday. The two knew each other, according to court papers.

OPD said in court documents that the gun found with Brown was the one used to kill Ervin.

“He was further discovered to be in possession of property belonging to Ervin at the time of his arrest,” according to police.

Authorities say the 17-year-old girl found dead behind this rec center was killed by a man arrested last week in Berkeley. Photo: City of Oakland
Authorities say the 17-year-old girl found dead behind this rec center was killed by a man arrested last week in Berkeley. Photo: City of Oakland

Oakland homicide detectives interviewed Brown at the Berkeley Police Department and arrested him on suspicion of murder Thursday.

Berkeleyside has requested information from OPD about Ervin’s killing, and will update this story if it is provided. No response had been received prior to publication.

According to The Mercury News, Ervin was a 17-year-old from Oakley who was killed behind a recreation center in East Oakland at 5800 International Boulevard. She had been reported as a runaway earlier this month.

The Merc reported that the Pittsburg Police Department helped OPD link Ervin to Brown, and that OPD said the two were “in a relationship.”

In addition to murder, the Alameda County district attorney’s office has charged Brown with unlawful firearm activity because he was not supposed to have guns.

Brown is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail and is scheduled to enter a plea July 5 at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in downtown Oakland. He has already been arraigned, according to sheriff’s office records online.

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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...