Police: Man shot friend, staged suicide scene to get away with murder

According to detectives, the killer’s grandmother watched him stage the crime scene and waited to call police so he could make his escape.


An altercation at a Berkeley home this week preceded a shooting that left a young man dead and a young woman with a gunshot wound to the shoulder, according to new court papers released Friday.

The killer then staged the scene to make it look like a suicide and forced the woman he had shot to drive him to another city and discard his clothing, according to charging documents. According to detectives, the killer’s grandmother watched him stage the crime scene and waited to call police so he could make his escape.

After his arrest, police say the man came up with multiple stories about how the shooting happened, and admitted to cleaning the gun and placing it next to the victim — identified Friday as 22-year-old Sacory Knight Jr. of Berkeley — to make it look like a suicide.

But Knight had been shot multiple times in the head and it didn’t take long for police to realize they had a homicide to investigate.

Devin Carrihill. Credit: BPD

According to court papers, Knight had been living at a home in the 1100 block of Channing Way with 20-year-old Devin Carrihill and Carrihill’s 73-year-old grandmother, Linetta Head.

On Tuesday, police say Carrihill and Knight got into an altercation just prior to the shooting. BPD has not said what the fight was about.

According to BPD, after calling police, Head “intentionally provided false statements to mislead officers in an attempt to help Carrihill avoid arrest.” Police arrested her Wednesday on suspicion of being an accessory after the crime, but she has not been charged and is no longer in custody.

Detectives also got a warrant to arrest Carrihill. The U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force took him into custody at a residence in Oakland on Wednesday afternoon.

On Friday, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Carrihill with Knight’s murder and with shooting the young woman, who is 22.

Carrihill is on felony probation after being convicted in September 2021 of carrying a loaded firearm on one’s person in San Joaquin County, according to charging papers.

Carrihill remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail and is scheduled for arraignment Monday at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland, according to court records online.

Tuesday’s killing was Berkeley’s second homicide in 2022. In total, there have been 16 confirmed shootings this year, which left two people dead and six wounded.

The Berkeley Police Department has asked anyone with information about Tuesday’s killing to call the Homicide Unit at 510-981-5741.

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sullivan

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