Berkeley police officers at Channing Way and Acton Street used a device on a pole to attempt to investigate a domestic disturbance call Wednesday. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Update, 5:12 p.m. Authorities have left the 2300 block of Acton Street, and community members there no longer need to shelter in place, Berkeley Police Sgt. Andrew Frankel told Berkeleyside.

Officers had initially responded to a call involving “domestic discord” between family members earlier Wednesday afternoon, Frankel told Berkeleyside’s Emilie Raguso, on scene at Acton and Bancroft Way. One of the people involved in the dispute had called police. Officers who responded to the block ultimately determined the other person was no longer home. During the response, however, the incident was described over the radio as a possible barricaded subject who may have had a gun.

BPD sent a Nixle alert at 5:11 p.m. announcing that the shelter-in-place warning was over.

The 2300 block of Acton Street was taped off while police responded to a domestic dispute call Wednesday afternoon. The view here, Acton Street in the distance, looking north from the south side of Channing Way. Photo: Emilie Raguso

A woman who has lived on the Acton block for 30 years told Raguso the neighbors “used to call this ‘Action Street,’ but now there’s not any action on it.” She said, in days long gone, there was frequent drug activity and sheriff’s office operations on the block.

Original story, 2:43 p.m. Police are on scene at Acton Street and Bancroft Way in West Berkeley and have asked community members to “shelter in place.”

A reader told Berkeleyside she can see “Police action near the corner of Acton and Bancroft … supposed to be a man with a gun…. Police are moving in with scary looking rifles.” Another reader reported at 2:19 p.m. that officers “sped by a few minutes ago, I heard some scanner chatter about a negotiator en route to an address on Acton near Bancroft. Any ideas what is going on @berkeleyside?” According to unconfirmed scanner traffic, a man in an apartment on the block may have a gun, but no further information was immediately available.

One neighbor who said she lives on the corner wrote on Twitter that there were “tons of police officers and helicopters overhead.”

Police sent a Nixle alert at 2:30 p.m. to advise residents to “shelter in place” due to unspecified “police activity” at Channing Way and Bancroft Way.

First responders are on scene in West Berkeley and have asked residents to shelter in place. Photo: Citizen reporter

Berkeley Police Sgt. Andrew Frankel told Berkeleyside that officers were called to a family dispute in the 2300 block of Acton just after 2 p.m.

“We’re on scene trying to make contact with one of the occupants in the apartment,” he said. “In the interest of public safety, we’ve asked for a shelter in place [alert].”

Frankel said he could not confirm that the occupant was reportedly armed.

One local resident said police “have the street blocked off for several blocks.”

Police have asked residents in West Berkeley to shelter in place. Image: Citizen reporter
Police have asked residents in West Berkeley to shelter in place. Image: Citizen reporter

At 2:40 p.m., according to unconfirmed scanner traffic, police asked for the Berkeley Fire Department to respond to the area to stage.

First responders are on scene in West Berkeley and have asked residents to shelter in place. Photo: BerkeleyCERT
Image: Google Maps

Update, 3:04 p.m. An AC Alert message just after 3 p.m. advised people east of Acton between Channing and Bancroft, and on the west side of Edwards Street between Channing and Bancroft to “shelter in place until further notice.”

“Stay indoors and lock your doors and windows. If you see or hear anything unusual, call 9-1-1 immediately,” the alert advises. “For updates, check 1610 AM every 30 minutes.”

We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.

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 of the Year...