Berkeley police cordoned off an area of North Shattuck Friday afternoon in order to investigate a suspicious item.
BPD spokesperson Lt. Melanie Turner told Berkeleyside that a member of the community originally reported what looked like a suspicious item to members of the Berkeley Fire Department, which happened to be in the vicinity. BFD alerted BPD because, Turner said, there were “a couple of wires” visible on the item.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we sent the bomb team to investigate,” Lt Turner said shortly before 3 p.m.
Police closed pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the immediate area and closed the nearby Safeway parking lot.
Around 3:20 p.m. Lt. Turner confirmed that the device was rendered safe and that all traffic circulation was back to normal.
Several community members reported hearing the sound of a controlled explosion.
The area that has been cordoned off, near the intersection of Shattuck Avenue and Rose Street, includes the triangular block that includes Kamado Sushi restaurant. Despite the ongoing investigation, customers were still eating lunch there, according to community member Colleen Neff who was in the area.
Berkeleyside readers began asking about the incident on Twitter and by email before just 1:30 p.m.
This story was updated after publication to report on the developing events.