Police arrested Keivon Burnette earlier this month on suspicion of murder in connection with a 2014 shooting in Berkeley, as first reported by Berkeleyside.
East Bay Regional Park District police arrested Burnette on Jan. 16 in Oakland on a warrant after working for more than a year on an investigation into the death of 21-year-old Damarco J. Thomas, a Berkeley High School alumnus.
In October 2014, two groups of men from Stockton, California and Oakland, respectively, met at the Sea Breeze Market and Deli parking lot to conduct a sale of several pounds of marijuana, according to EBRPD spokesperson Carolyn Jones. The Oakland group attempted to rob the Stockton group, prompting a gunfight and ultimately leading to Thomas’ death from multiple gunshot wounds, Jones said.
Burnette’s is one of several arrests made in the investigation by the EBRPD Police Department, and he could face charges of homicide, Jones said.
EBRPD has jurisdiction over the area in Berkeley where Sea Breeze is located, and it has been working closely with the Oakland and Stockton police departments, as well as the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, according to Jones.
EBRPD police have taken steps to better protect the area, such as more frequent patrols, the installation of more security cameras and posting signs that advise people to be aware of their surroundings and to leave precarious situations. EBRPD police also encourage citizens to report illegal activity conducted in its parks.
“Though this issue is specific to Oakland and Stockton, it goes far beyond Berkeley, and people should know we try to work on these things at a larger scale,” Jones said.
No further action will be taken against Burnette until more evidence is collected, according to Jones.
EBRPD encourages anyone with any information about the ongoing investigation to call their anonymous tip line at 510-690-6521.
Contact Brenna Smith at [email protected].