Alex Goodwin Jr. was just 22 years old when someone shot him outside his South Berkeley home near San Pablo Park.
That was six years ago, and authorities have yet to make an arrest in the case — despite a $50,000 reward for information leading to the killer’s conviction.
“They are just kind of at a standstill due to a lack of witnesses or a lack of people wanting to come forward,” Aneka Patterson, Goodwin’s older sister, told Berkeleyside recently. “They have an idea. But you can’t really do much off ideas.”
Police say Goodwin — an aspiring rap musician who attended Cragmont Elementary School, King Middle School and Berkeley High — was not the killer’s intended target.
He was critically wounded by gunfire Aug. 19, 2016, when he stepped outside his home near Mabel and Burnett streets shortly before midnight. Goodwin was taken to Highland Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Patterson said the family has done a number of things to keep Goodwin’s memory alive, from backpack and school supply giveaways to forming a nonprofit, All Things AyeGee (a reference to Goodwin’s nickname, which was inspired by his initials, “A” and “G”).
The nonprofit has also given Christmas gifts to those in need and is putting together a basketball tournament in Goodwin’s name. He had a passion for sports and was known as a “Warriors fanatic.”
The family also came forward several years ago to urge Berkeley officials to raise the amount of money the city can offer to help solve murders.
Despite the passage of time, Patterson said, the pain of Goodwin’s death has not faded.
“It doesn’t get easier, at least not yet,” she said. “Some days are better than others. There are still days that are really, really bad.”
Patterson said she and her seven siblings and step-siblings grew up close, gathering with relatives for yearly camping trips and coming together to celebrate holidays and birthdays.
She described her brother as a jokester who was outgoing and fun. He was poetic and creative as he worked to craft his music.
Goodwin had lived on Mabel Street with his grandmother, and always made sure to help around the house.
“Everybody loved him. I didn’t realize it until, when he passed, I saw how many people really rallied around us,” she said. “It was very surprising.”
Patterson said that, while nothing can bring her brother back, solving the case would be significant for the family.
“We still kind of walk around on eggshells because we really don’t have any answers,” she said. “We really don’t know. But we do know that, after six years, someone possibly knows something or someone has told someone something.”
Patterson continued: “Imagine if something like this was to happen to someone in your family, especially at home, somewhere that’s supposed to be your safe place. We try to urge people to really put themselves in our shoes.”
Police ask anyone with information about the killing of Alex Goodwin Jr. to call BPD’s Homicide Unit at 510-981-5741.