Man Dies From Bullet Wound

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A Berkeley resident was found fatally shot in the head in a parking complex in South Berkeley last week, police said yesterday.

Residents of the apartment building at 1425 Oregon St. found Archealus Woodson, 29, lying unconscious on the pavement between two cars in the building's parking lot, said Berkeley police Lt. Bobby Miller.

When police reached the scene, they did not immediately notice what was wrong with Woodson, Miller said. But upon examination, he said they discovered Woodson had been shot in the back of the head.

Although Woodson drifted in and out of consciousness, he was pronounced dead on Friday at Highland Hospital in Oakland, Miller said.

Miller said the circumstances surrounding Woodson's death are unclear.

"We don't know how he got there, when he got there," Miller said. "We don't have any witnesses."

The area where Woodson was found dead has been the scene of many drug deals in recent years, Miller said.

"That's an area where drug dealing has proliferated," he said. "In the past it has been a problem."

A spokesperson for Mayor Shirley Dean said residents of the area had complained to the city about possible code violations at the house where the man was found.

"There are multiple issues in the neighborhood that seem to relate to the people in the house," said Tamlyn Bright. "It relates to whether or not the neighbors can enjoy their life and property. No one has any proof that there has been drug activity in the house, regardless of the fact that it happens outside the house."

Bright said local residents have asked the mayor for a meeting to discuss their concerns about the neighborhood's high crime rate. She said neighbors complained about intruders coming to their homes and threatening them.

"There have been shootings, multiple injuries to people and bodies being found on the street," Bright said.

Bright said police have been asked about crimes in the area, but the city must ultimately decide if the occupants of the house are responsible for the disturbances.

"There's the broader question of what constitutes the nature of the nuisance," she said.

The city attorney is preparing a report on the house, and the Housing Advisory Commission has scheduled a public hearing to examine issues pertaining to the house's safety on Feb. 3, Bright said.

The city manager sent a letter to the owners in November informing them that their house had been deemed substandard, Bright said. She also said they were issued an order to make necessary improvements on the house.

Dean is eager to meet with the concerned residents, Bright added, but she wants to avoid disqualifying herself from a possible city council vote on the matter.

Woodson's death is the first homicide in Berkeley this year. In December, two Berkeley residents were fatally shot in South Berkeley.

On Dec. 29, Toni Smith was found shot dead in her yard at 1623 Alcatraz St. There are still no suspects in custody in that case. Miller said there was no connection between Smith's murder and the most recent killing.


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