Berkeley shooting suspect charged in illegal gun case

Police said they seized an assault weapon, high-capacity magazine, body armor and ammunition when they arrested Devonta Butler.

Berkeley shooting suspect charged in illegal gun case
Berkeley police officers during a search warrant operation June 20, 2024. Scanner Insider

A Berkeley shooting suspect is facing numerous felony charges after a search warrant operation at his apartment on Alcatraz Avenue last week, court papers show.

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

Butler is prohibited from owning some of those items due to his criminal record, which include multiple numerous felony convictions, according to charging papers.

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

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

"Very large police presence, including SWAT, drones, search warrant," one person said. "Early this morning. 3 suspects detained."

"Police surround building and demand individual exit with hands up. Small drone surveillance," one community member wrote. "We woke up to the police bullhorn … and then the flash-bangs."

"They took one man away," said another shortly before 7 a.m. "The street was reopened and most of the crew left at 0605 but they are still searching the apartment now."

Police served 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 say anything about the case, citing the active investigation.

The Scanner identified the arrested individual as Devonta Butler through public records.

According to those records, Butler was arrested last week in connection with three separate cases: the items seized at his apartment; a violation of his release terms; and a Berkeley shooting investigation 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 "several vehicles."

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

BPD also determined that a man, who got himself to the hospital, had been 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 with the March shooting.

Man shot in South Berkeley on Thursday night
According to emergency radio traffic reviewed by The Scanner, the man had been shot in the back.

On Friday, the Alameda County DA's office did charge Butler with possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of an assault weapon, illegal possession of body armor and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person, according to charging papers.

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

Three of those convictions resulted in probation, but the DV case from 2021 sent him to prison, charging papers show.

According to booking records, Butler is currently ineligible for bail due to the allegations against him.

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing July 8, according to court records.

Readers asked about this incident, which resulted in this report. Have questions about crime in Berkeley? Alert The Berkeley Scanner.