Three people were injured in a shooting at San Pablo Park in August. Photo: Amanda Buhbut

A Vallejo felon was charged this week in connection with a drive-by shooting at a crowded Berkeley park in August after he allegedly shot back when a rival gang member opened fire, according to court papers.

Police say the 32-year-old Vallejo man, Kevin Gilmore Greene Jr., fired back at a white Chevrolet Impala with tinted windows when at least one of its occupants opened fire, causing critical injuries to a 25-year-old man and striking two bystanders in San Pablo Park on Aug. 18, 2018. More than 100 people were in the park that day. Some were celebrating birthday parties, while others attended a family-oriented community barbecue, police said.

Police wrote in court papers that Greene chased the Chevy west on Russell Street, firing at it multiple times and striking a house in the 1200 block of Russell just south of the park. Police have identified the Chevy occupants as North Side Oakland (NSO) gang members and said their target was a South Berkeley gang member in the 5 Finga Mafia. The two groups have been “in a feud,” according to police, and San Pablo Park “is a known location where South Berkeley gang members loiter and claim.”

Police say Greene is also a member of the 5 Finga Mafia. Through their investigation, police learned from a concerned citizen that the man who returned fire at the park in August goes by  “K.I.” — which is Greene’s street name, according to court papers. Two weeks after the San Pablo Park shooting, Oakland police arrested Greene with a loaded semi-automatic pistol, according to BPD. Ballistics testing later linked casings from that pistol — which had been reported stolen — to the damaged house on Russell, police wrote in court documents.

Thursday, according to court papers, the U.S. Marshals Service arrested Greene at his apartment in Vallejo. BPD said that was because Greene had a federal warrant for his arrest. The Marshals Service said it could not comment on the case at this time.

After Greene’s arrest, Berkeley police searched his apartment and found a Cal jacket — blue with yellow sleeves — described as “consistent with what witnesses” said Greene wore the day of the shooting. BPD also said the booking photo from the Oakland arrest showed him to have had short braids at that time, “which also matches the description a witness provided for the Berkeley shooting.”

During the search in Vallejo on Thursday, Berkeley police said they also found a loaded firearm, which had a tactical flashlight and an obliterated serial number, under Greene’s driver’s seat — as well as a bag containing two boxes of ammunition and two stolen, loaded guns in his bedroom closet. One of those firearms, which had been altered to be fully automatic, according to BPD, had a round in the chamber and an extended magazine holding 21 more rounds. The other firearm from the bedroom was loaded with seven live rounds.

According to court papers, Greene has multiple felony firearm convictions and is prohibited from having any guns as a result.

Police say they have made two arrests tied to park shooting

Greene’s is the second arrest Berkeley detectives say they have linked to the August shooting at San Pablo Park. In March, they arrested Oakland felon Shane Downs and wrote in court documents that ammunition at his home, cellphone records and his vehicle — a white Chevrolet Impala with tinted windows — connected him to the August shooting and another shooting at the park in January. (There were no injuries in the second incident.)

Downs was not charged with either shooting, however, his defense attorney Seth Morris told Berkeleyside.

According to court records, Downs was charged with ammunition possession and remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail on that charge and a parole violation. He is prohibited from owning ammunition because of a felony conviction for robbery that sent him to prison in 2014, according to court records.

Morris described the police allegations linking Downs to the August shooting as “completely unfounded”  and said Downs “was not involved in that shooting or any other shooting.” Morris said the cell tower records are “completely meaningless” because Downs lives blocks from the park.

According to Google Maps, Downs’ address is 1.2-1.5 miles from the park. Police said cell tower records put him “near San Pablo Park before and just after the shooting” in August.

Rifle ammunition police found at Downs’ home during a warrant search in February was “the same brand and caliber” as the ammunition from the January shooting “in which another south Berkeley Five Finga Mafia … gang associate was targeted,” according to BPD. Police have identified Downs as a North Side Oakland (NSO) gang member.

Morris said the ammunition was “found in the back storage room of a house shared with multiple people” and did not belong to his client. He said, too, that the district attorney’s office declined to file shooting charges against Downs in March.

Downs is scheduled to enter a plea in the ammunition case April 26 at the René Davidson Courthouse. He is ineligible for release from jail due to the parole violation.

Plea in Greene’s case set for Thursday

The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Greene on Monday with shooting at an inhabited dwelling, which is a felony.

According to charging documents, Greene has four felony convictions in Alameda County dating back to 2005, when he was convicted of possession of a short-barreled shotgun or rifle and sent to prison. In 2007, he was convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon and sent back to prison. In 2013, he was convicted again, of two counts of the same firearm possession charge, from a 2011 case. He was sent to prison again, according to charging documents.

Greene is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on $270,000 bail. He is scheduled to enter a plea Thursday at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland, according to jail records online.

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...