Police close the road to traffic to investigate gunfire Saturday afternoon, May 1, 2021. Credit: Citizen reporter

A daytime shooting in West Berkeley blocked University Avenue early Saturday afternoon as police investigated multiple reports of gunfire.

Ultimately, officers found casings but no victims at University and West Frontage Road, Berkeley Police Lt. Melanie Turner said. There have been no reports from area hospitals about anyone seeking treatment for a bullet wound, she said.

The Berkeley Police Department got multiple reports about the shooting just after 12:20 p.m. Saturday.

Initial reports were jumbled, Turner said, with someone saying a person had shot into the air, another person saying someone had shot into the homeless camp at University and Frontage, and the California Highway Patrol saying the shooting had happened on the freeway.

In the encampment north of University, officers also found a wooden pallet that had been struck by gunfire, Turner said. There is nothing at this time to suggest the camp had been intentionally targeted, she added.

Police blocked University at Frontage during the investigation. Traffic reopened to motorists at about 1:30 p.m.

No one is in custody and no arrests have been made. Police are reviewing evidence and witness reports from the scene and the investigation is ongoing, Turner said.

Other gunfire reports in Berkeley this year

Berkeley has had at least nine other confirmed gunfire calls in 2021, which is several more than last year at this time, BPD said recently.

On Jan. 2, a Berkeley police officer shot a man, who was wounded in the jaw but survived, after an alleged robbery at Walgreens in downtown Berkeley; on Feb. 14 just after 6:45 p.m., police responded to a negligent discharge report at a home in the 1900 block of Oxford Street and found damage to the residence; on Feb. 19 just after 1:10 a.m., there was gunfire in the 2500 block of Dana Street and police found casings at the scene; on Feb. 28 at midnight, someone shot at an inhabited dwelling in the 1200 block of Allston Way and damaged the building.

On March 4, police found casings in the 3200 block of Sacramento Street (charges have been filed); on March 9, there was gunfire resulting from a domestic dispute at California and Prince streets (charges have been filed); on March 22, there was gunfire in southwest Berkeley linked to a stalking case (charges have been filed).

On April 19 at 1 a.m., police responded to the 1200 block of Ashby Avenue, near San Pablo Avenue, on a report of gunfire. Officers searched the area and found several bullet casings on the ground. Police said there were no reported injuries. On April 22 at 11:30 p.m., there was a report of gunfire at Fairview and Harper streets; police later found damage to a building on Fairview as well as a vehicle parked nearby.

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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...