Citing felony assault with hatchet, Berkeley shooting victim charged

The shooter said he was defending himself after intervening in a domestic dispute where a woman had asked for help, according to court papers.


A 32-year-old Oakland man who was shot in South Berkeley on Tuesday evening has been charged with using a hatchet, just before the shooting, to assault a man who had intervened in a domestic dispute, according to court papers.

The shooter, who remained at the scene and immediately turned himself in, said he was defending himself and was ultimately only charged with a misdemeanor for having a gun, according to court documents. He was not charged with firing the gun, which was registered to him, according to court papers, but he did not have a concealed carry permit so he was charged with a criminal offense for possession.

On Tuesday just before 5 p.m., police responded to California and Prince streets on a report that a man, later identified as Jefferey Noble, had been shot in the back, according to court papers. Witnesses told police Noble, armed with a hatchet, had charged at the other man and ignored his “demands to stay back.”

The shooter, a 41-year-old from Oakland, told police the victim from the domestic dispute had asked him to help her handle the situation. When he intervened, however, Noble confronted him “in an aggressive manner” and warned him to stay out of it, according to court papers. (Berkeleyside is not publishing the name of the 41-year-old due to the circumstances of the case and because he is charged only with a misdemeanor.)


The 41-year-old then took an expandable baton out of his car “and told Noble to get back,” according to police. Noble then got a hatchet from his truck and advanced on the other man, authorities said.

That’s when the 41-year-old pulled out a gun, police said, “and told Noble to stay back.” The man said Noble instead raised the axe in the air, “causing him to believe he was about to be killed,” according to court papers. He fired the gun and struck Noble. Then he called 911 to report the shooting.

Officers arrived and took the shooter into custody without incident, police said. He had placed his gun, a loaded black revolver, on the roof of his car so police could secure it and immediately surrendered when officers arrived, BPD said.

Officers recovered a hatchet near Noble’s truck, BPD said.

Noble was taken to the hospital for treatment, police said. He is now in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, according to booking records online.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Noble on Thursday with felony assault with a deadly weapon — the hatchet — and alleged it was a serious felony that could send Noble to prison if he is convicted.

Noble has no prior convictions, according to court records online, and his next court appearance was not listed as of publication time.

There have been at least five other confirmed shootings in Berkeley in 2021, according to police.

Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.org. Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.