Berkeley shooting suspect charged in illegal gun case


Police said they seized an assault weapon, a high-capacity magazine, body armor and ammunition during the arrest of Devonta Butler.

Berkeley police officers during a search warrant operation on June 20, 2024. Scanner Insider

A Berkeley shooting suspect faces multiple criminal charges after a search of his Alcatraz Avenue apartment last week, court documents show.

Police seized an assault weapon, a high-capacity magazine, body armor and “various types of ammunition” when they arrested Devonta Butler, 32, in the 1900 block of Alcatraz Avenue on June 20, according to court documents.

Butler is prohibited from possessing some of these items because of his criminal record, which includes numerous felony convictions, according to charging documents.

Authorities also listed the seized firearm as an assault weapon, which is illegal to possess in California.

Learn more about crime in Berkeley.

Several readers contacted The Scanner last week due to early morning police activity on Alcatraz Avenue near Dover Street in South Berkeley.

“Very heavy police presence, including SWAT, drones, search warrant,” one person said. “Early this morning. Three suspects arrested.”

“Police surround the building and ask everyone to come out with their hands up. A little drone surveillance,” one community member wrote. “We woke up to the sound of the police megaphone… then stun grenades.”

“They took a man away,” another said shortly before 7 a.m. “The street was reopened and most of the team left by 6:05 a.m., but they are still searching the apartment.”

Police executed the search warrant in the 1900 block of Alcatraz Avenue. Google Street View

Berkeley police initially said they would comment on the arrest, but have since declined to comment on the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

The scanner identified the arrestee as Devonta Butler through public records.

According to the documents, Butler was arrested last week in connection with three separate cases: items seized from his apartment, a violation of his release conditions and an investigation into a Berkeley shooting dating back to March.

On March 21, Berkeley Police responded to the 1800 block of Fairview Street (near Harper Street) to investigate a shooting involving the occupants of “multiple vehicles.”

Police found shell casings in the roadway on Fairview Street and also located a vehicle with a bullet hole in the rear window that was parked near Dover and 65th streets.

BPD also determined that a man, who went to the hospital, was shot in the back during the incident.

The man went to Alta Bates Hospital but was later transported to Highland Hospital, the regional trauma center, for treatment.

As of this week, Devonta Butler has not been charged in the March shooting.

Man shot dead in South Berkeley Thursday night

According to emergency radio traffic reviewed by The Scanner, the man had been shot in the back.

On Friday, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged Butler with possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of an assault weapon, unlawful possession of a bulletproof vest and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person, according to charging documents.

He has prior convictions for robbery, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence dating back to 2011, according to court documents.

Three of those convictions resulted in probation, but the 2021 domestic violence case sent him to prison, charging documents show.

According to booking records, Butler is currently not eligible for bail due to the allegations against him.

According to court documents, his preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 8.

Readers asked questions about this incident, which resulted in this report. Do you have questions about crime in Berkeley? Alert the Berkeley scanner.

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