Two shot in Berkeley dance and music venue during robbery

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Employees of a local dance and music venue were admitted to a hospital after being shot during an armed robbery early Saturday morning.

At approximately 12:05 a.m., two armed suspects entered the Ashkenaz Music and Dance Center and demanded cash from employees, according to a statement from Berkeley Police Department. The suspects then fired their weapons, striking two of the center’s employees.

One of the employees has been identified as Larry Chin, the center’s executive director, according to ABC 7 news. Chin was shot in the neck, and the second employee, who has not been identified, was shot in the arm.

Within moments of the shootings, BPD officers arrived on scene and attempted to apprehend one of the fleeing suspects. Residents in the area were told to stay in their homes during a search for the suspect. Officers from the department’s Barricaded Subject Hostage Negotiation Team were called in to help due to the violent nature of the crime, according to the police department’s statement.

“Berkeley officers … conducted an extensive yard-to-yard search of the area looking for the suspect,” the statement said. “During the search a suspect was located behind a building in the 1300 block of San Pablo Avenue and taken safely into custody.”

The employees were sent to a local hospital for serious injuries but are expected to recover, according to a post on the center’s Facebook page.

“We at Ashkenaz are deeply touched by the support and concern already expressed by so many in response to last night’s events,” the post said. “We are relieved and grateful to report that our two family members are in stable condition and expected to recover.”

The second suspect is still at large, and BPD urges anyone with information to contact detectives in the robbery and homicide division at 510-981-5742 or 510-981-5900. Anonymous tips can be sent to the Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Andy Nguyen is the lead crime reporter. Contact him at [email protected]
and follow him on Twitter @Andy_Truc.