A 28-year-old Richmond woman is in custody this week after firing a gun during an argument outside a party on Sixth Street in West Berkeley over the weekend, authorities report.

On Saturday night, Berkeley police responded to a noise complaint about a loud party just before 10:40 p.m. in the 2200 block of Sixth Street, north of Bancroft Way.

Arriving officers saw “a crowd of people leaving the building” followed by the sound of gunfire, Officer Byron White, BPD spokesperson, told Berkeleyside. Bystanders then directed police to a silver sedan speeding away from the area.

As they investigated, police learned there had been an argument in which a woman fired a gun into the air and then pointed it at a woman’s face and made threats of violence, White said.

Officers were able to catch up with the involved vehicle a few blocks away. They conducted a high-risk car stop and detained both of the vehicle’s occupants without incident, White said.

Officers searched the sedan and its surroundings and found a loaded handgun that had been discarded just under the passenger-side door, White said. Its serial number had been scratched off.

Erichannay Ryder. Credit: BPD

BPD ultimately arrested passenger Erichannay Ryder on suspicion of willfully discharging a firearm in a negligent manner, making criminal threats, brandishing a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm, as well as several other weapon-related crimes.

The driver, who was cooperative, was not arrested, White said.

According to court papers, Ryder has a prior felony conviction and is prohibited from owning firearms or ammunition. She was not the registered owner of the gun police found.

As of Monday, Ryder remained in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $365,000, according to jail records online. She is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday at East County Hall of Justice in Dublin.

West Berkeley Councilmember Terry Taplin credited police for their quick response over the weekend.

“I commend BPD for their swift response and their outstanding service to the people and community of Berkeley,” Taplin said. “I am especially appreciative of the officers’ close partnership and support for our neighborhood as we have dealt with escalating gunfire over the past several years.”

Berkeley police have now responded to at least 15 confirmed gunfire reports in 2022.

Several hours after the party on Sixth Street, police investigated reports of possible gunfire on Ashby Avenue in the Elmwood neighborhood. Shortly after 2:40 a.m., officers found evidence of a shooting at Ashby and Linden Avenue, but no victims or property damage, White said.

About an hour later, police also received reports of possible gunfire near University Avenue and 10th Street in West Berkeley. Responding officers found no signs, however, that a shooting had occurred.

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sullivan

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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...