Police Investigate Berkeley Shooting

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A late-night robbery ended in the fatal shooting of a Berkeley man, the city's fourth homicide this year, police said yesterday.

Berkeley police Lt. Russell Lopes said two armed teenagers shot 33-year-old Dwight Garland several times as he stood on the driveway of a Haskell Street apartment complex late Wednesday night.

The victim was taken to Alta Bates Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival, Lopes said.

Police said the man received multiple gunshot wounds to his back and chest after the two men robbed him at approximately 12 a.m.

"We're investigating it as a straight-up robbery," Lopes said. "Mr. Garland was a victim in the truest sense of the word. For some god-awful reason, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and someone decided to kill him."

Lopes described the suspects as black men of medium build in their late teens or early 20s. He said they jumped into a car to escape.

Although several people called police, none initially came forward as a witness.

Officers later knocked on neighbors' doors and were able to find several people who had witnessed the shooting.

"People were just scared," Lopes said.

The neighborhood itself, located east of San Pablo Avenue, is known for its drug problems, police said. Lopes added, however, that the area has made rapid improvements in the last year.

Police do not believe the shooting is related to drug use.

"East of San Pablo has been a drug area in the past, more so years ago," Lopes said. "Now, it's your average middle class neighborhood."

Garland lived with his family in Berkeley, Lopes said.


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