Two Shot at Berkeley's Ashkenaz Center

Witnesses said two armed suspects entered the crowded center and demanded cash from employees

Saturday, Mar 16, 2013  |  Updated 5:52 PM PDT
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Two Shot at Berkeley's Ashkenaz Center

Police made one arrest following shooting at popular Berkeley music venue

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Two employees at a Berkeley music venue who were shot and wounded during an armed robbery early today are in stable condition and expected to recover, venue officials said today.

Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center, a long-standing venue celebrating its 40th anniversary in the community, will remain open for performances this weekend, according to a statement released by the center's staff and board members this afternoon.

"We are deeply touched by the support, love and concern expressed by so many in response to last night's events, in which two employees were shot in the course of a robbery," the statement said.

The shooting and armed robbery occurred minutes after midnight at the 1317 San Pablo Ave. venue, Officer Jennifer Coats said.

Two armed suspects entered the crowded center and demanded cash from employees. The suspects shot and wounded two of the employees before fleeing the business, Coats said.

The wounded employees were taken to a local hospital to be treated for serious injuries. Officers arrived on the scene within moments and attempted to stop one of the suspects who was fleeing from the area. The suspect ran into a yard and officers surrounded the block.

Police conducted a yard-to-yard search of the area with the aid of an Alameda County Sheriff's K-9 deputy and were found the suspect hiding behind a building in the 1300 block of San Pablo Avenue.

During the search, area residents were notified of the incident and asked to stay inside their homes.

Police have not released the name of the suspect who was arrested. The second suspect remains at large.

Detectives are investigating the incident and attempting to locate the outstanding suspect. Police are urging anyone with any information about this morning's robbery and shooting to call the Berkeley Police Department at (510) 981-5742 or (510) 981-5900.

Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Bay Area Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. Police stressed that any information could be critical to solving this case.

The Ashkenaz Music and Dance Center is an international music and dance venue and teaching center "committed to providing a great place to dance that supports local and international bands of both established and emerging artists in a respectful, comfortable, safe, and family atmosphere," according to its website.

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