Suspect arrested in Berkeley’s 1st reported homicide of year

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Berkeley police arrested Anthony Durant on suspicion of murder after 24-year-old Stockton resident Christian Sheppard was shot and killed Tuesday night.

According to Officer Byron White, the suspect is the same man who was arrested in June 2014 after a double shooting in South Berkeley. Police believe that Durant and Sheppard knew each other.

Berkeley Police Department officers responded to several reports of gunshots near the intersection of California and Russell streets Tuesday evening. Police arrived about 8:30 p.m. and discovered Sheppard suffering from gunshot wounds at the scene.

Berkeley Fire Department transported him to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Durant was arrested at 12:10 a.m. Wednesday on the 1600 block of Julia Street, according to a press release from BPD spokesperson Officer Jennifer Coats. He will be arraigned at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland on Friday at 2 p.m.

In 2014, Durant was arrested on suspicion of assault with a firearm and was later charged with possession of ammunition by a prohibited person. According to court documents, Durant was prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm because of a previous conviction.

According to Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Teresa Drenick, the district attorney dismissed the assault with a firearm charge when Durant pleaded guilty to the ammunition-possession charge. Durant was sentenced to six months in county jail and placed on five years of felony probation.

Sheppard was a longtime Berkeley resident who graduated from Berkeley High School in 2008. Sheppard was a defensive lineman for the varsity football team, according to Logan Murdock, one of his former teammates.

Sheppard attended California State University Northridge on a full-ride scholarship, Murdock said. He described Sheppard as “a very funny guy, very charismatic.”

Sheppard is survived by two daughters, his mother, sister and brother.

Contact the Daily Californian News Staff at [email protected].