Anthony Durant charged with murder, unlawful firearm possession

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Anthony Durant was charged with murder and unlawful firearm possession Friday in connection to the Oct. 6 South Berkeley shooting that killed 24-year-old Christian Sheppard.

Berkeley Police Department arrested Durant, 24, on suspicion of murder about four hours after Sheppard was found with multiple gunshot wounds. Sheppard was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

According to an affidavit written by BPD Sgt. Peter Hong, the shooting occurred behind an apartment complex at 1611 Russell St. Officers found about 16 rounds of 9mm spent casings at the crime scene and a locked-back, empty semiautomatic handgun with a 16-round capacity tossed in a yard on the same block of Julia Street.

The affidavit states that a witness saw Durant and Sheppard playing a game of dice just prior to the shooting. Multiple witnesses reported seeing a man matching Durant’s description fleeing the scene after gunfire.

BPD spokesperson Officer Jennifer Coats said that neighboring agencies were called in to search the area. Officers saw a man who matched witness descriptions of Durant walking in a home on Julia Street. When Durant tried to leave through a side door, police took him into custody.

“We’ve arrested the person we feel responsible for Mr. Sheppard’s murder, but they’ll keep investigating,” Coats said.

As a consequence of a juvenile offense, Durant’s second charge of unlawful firearm possession prohibits him from possessing a firearm until he reaches 30 years of age.

Last year, Durant was arrested on suspicion of assault with a firearm in connection to a nonfatal double shooting in June 2014 after he turned himself in.

Durant was charged with assault with a firearm and receiving stolen property, but Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Teresa Drenick said the county dismissed the assault charge when Durant pled guilty to receiving stolen property.

Durant’s next scheduled hearing is at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 26 at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland.

Contact Jamie Nguyen at [email protected].