Man charged with Aquatic Park shooting after police find loaded gun in his toilet

A 37-year-old Berkeley man had been walking in Aquatic Park when a stranger confronted him, pistol-whipped him and shot him as he fled.


Dejon Disburke. Credit: BPD

An Oakland man with a long history of drug sales has been charged with multiple felonies after a shooting in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park in September that left a man with a gunshot wound to the thigh, according to police and court papers.

A 37-year-old Berkeley man had been walking in Aquatic Park on Sept. 9 at about 1:20 a.m. when a stranger confronted him, pistol-whipped him multiple times and shot at him twice as he ran away, according to authorities.

A witness called police to report the incident about 30 minutes later. When officers arrived, they found evidence of gunfire. But neither the assailant nor the victim had stayed in the area.

A short time later, police were called to assist “a gunshot victim on the porch of a nearby house asking for help,” BPD said Monday in response to a Berkeleyside inquiry. The man had not realized he had been shot until he had made it to a safe location, police said. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

During the course of their investigation, Berkeley homicide detectives were able to identify 46-year-old Dejon Disburke as the suspect.

See the 2021 gunfire map on Berkeleyside

On Thursday, detectives served a search warrant at Disburke’s North Oakland home and located “several firearms, a silencer, as well as heroin and cocaine in amounts possessed for sale,” BPD said Monday. The U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force assisted in the operation.

According to court papers reviewed by Berkeleyside, authorities found one loaded handgun hidden in Disburke’s toilet as well as a loaded revolver that had been hidden under a sofa cushion. One of those guns was determined to have been stolen, according to charging documents.

Items recovered during the search warrant operation. Credit: BPD

Authorities also found “about 30 bindles of individually packaged suspected heroin and cocaine base,” according to court papers, as well as a bicycle that had been reported stolen in August.

BPD arrested Disburke, a convicted felon, Thursday at 6 a.m., according to booking records. Disburke, who is on probation through 2022 for being a felon in possession of a firearm, was out on bail at the time of his arrest in connection with new gun possession and probation violation charges related to an open criminal case from January. He has entered a not-guilty plea in that case, which is ongoing.

On Friday, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Disburke with five more felonies, including two counts of assault with a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance and firearm. He was also charged with two misdemeanors in connection with the stolen bike and stolen gun.

According to court papers, Disburke was convicted four times between 1993 and 2002 of felony drug sales. He was then convicted three times, between 2006 and 2019, of possession of a firearm by a felon, which is also a felony charge. Four of his convictions resulted in prison sentences, while the other three resulted in probation terms.

According to booking records, Disburke remains in custody Monday without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. He is scheduled to enter a plea Dec. 6 at the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin.

Featured photo: Ira Serkes

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