The Berkeley Police Department has released the name of the officer who shot and wounded a homeless parolee in early January after he is alleged to have threatened officers and a store clerk with a 13-foot metal chain.
The officer, Madison Albrandt, was hired by the city of Berkeley in November 2019, attended the police academy and was sworn in on May 19, 2020.
The department identified the officer publicly for the first time Wednesday in response to a Berkeleyside Public Records Act request filed just after the Jan. 2 shooting, which the man survived.
The department also told Berkeleyside it plans to release video recordings from the shooting by mid-February.
Police had previously identified the homeless man the officer shot as 51-year-old Vincent Bryant. On Jan. 6, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Bryant with robbery, assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest, as well as parole violation. All of the charges are listed as felonies and include special allegations that two of the felonies should be considered serious or violent, and that Bryant used a deadly weapon — a metal chain — during the robbery.
The Jan. 2 incident was the first time a Berkeley police officer shot and wounded a suspect since 2012. Last year, a Berkeley police officer fired her gun at a driver fleeing a robbery scene but she did not hit him. Berkeleyside will have an update on that case soon.
The Jan. 2 incident started, according to court papers, when Bryant walked into the downtown Berkeley Walgreens at 2190 Shattuck Ave. shortly before 8:30 p.m. He selected a number of food items valued at $14 and placed them at the register, according to court papers. Police said Bryant left $1 on the counter then walked toward the store exit.
“An employee confronted Bryant and told him he needed to pay for the items. Bryant pulled out a long metal chain from his bag and threatened to break all the windows,” police wrote. “Out of fear, the employee exited the store and called for police.”
BPD said officers saw Bryant walking on Bancroft Way. They tried to detain him, BPD said previously, but he walked into the Tang Center courtyard at 2222 Bancroft Way, about four blocks from Walgreens.
“A negotiator-trained officer attempted to de-escalate the suspect, but he continued to speak and act in an erratic manner,” according to the initial BPD statement.
Police said in court papers that Bryant ultimately pulled out a 13-foot-long metal chain when officers confronted him, then “whipped it on the ground,” telling police: “My weapon of choice is a fucking gun, but God wants me to use this on your ass.” He then “raised the chain in the air to signify his intent to use the chain as a weapon,” police wrote.
BPD said officers shot Bryant with less-lethal munitions — such as foam projectiles — when he advanced on them. When that didn’t stop him, according to BPD, Albrandt fired at Bryant, striking him in the jaw.
According to court papers, Bryant has felony convictions for home burglary, in 2019 and 1997, and grand theft auto in 2018. He is alleged to have one strike.
Bryant’s first court date is not currently listed in the court records available online and he does not appear to be in custody in Alameda County jails. At the time of last report, he remained in the hospital. Berkeleyside has asked BPD for a status update.
Berkeleyside will continue to follow the story and is seeking all police records related to the shooting.