A suspect in the shooting death of a 24-year-old man in Berkeley on Thursday night was arraigned on a murder charge in Alameda County Superior Court today. Randall Oscar Alston, an 18-year-old Berkeley man, was arrested about half an hour after the fatal shooting of Devin Lee Whitmire of Berkeley in the 2800 block of Sacramento Street at about 7:35 p.m. Thursday. Berkeley police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said investigators believe there are additional suspects in the case and there is a $17,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of all the suspects in the case.
Officer Shan Johnson said in a probable cause statement filed in court that Whitmire and his brother were on the sidewalk outside Bob’s Liquors and Deli at Sacramento and Oregon streets when they were approached by Alston and a second suspect. Whitmire’s brother knew Alston and acknowledged Alston and Alston responded by acknowledging Whitmire’s brother, according to Johnson. But Whitmire’s brother then saw Alston and the second suspect approach Whitmire and saw the second suspect displaying a black handgun, Johnson said. The brother yelled a warning to Whitmire and they both began to flee but the brother then heard “numerous gunshots” and discovered that Whitmire had been struck by the gunshots, Johnson said.
About 30 minutes after the shooting, Whitmire’s brother spotted Alston and “physically assaulted him,” according to Johnson. Berkeley police who were nearby and spotted the assault then detained the brother and Alston, he said. The brother identified Alston and said he was one of the people responsible for shooting Whitmire, Johnson said. Whitmire was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he was pronounced dead. Whitmire’s death is the third homicide in Berkeley so far this year.
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