ALBANY — A female employee at an Albany car dealership was fatally shot late Thursday morning by a suspect who later died in an exchange of gunfire with Berkeley police, authorities confirmed.
The shooting was reported at 11:14 a.m. at the Toyota of Berkeley service center, located in Albany on Eastshore Highway.
Berkeley police said arriving officers encountered a shooting victim and a suspect and that there was an exchange of gunfire between multiple officers and the suspect.
Albany police requested mutual aid from Berkeley police and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, according to a Berkeley police spokeswoman Jessica Perry, who said there was no immediate information on the condition of the victim or the suspect.
In a joint statement given by Alameda County Sheriff’s Office PIO Lt. Tya Modeste Thursday afternoon, authorities confirmed that both Berkeley and Albany police received multiple calls reporting a man with a gun at the service center.
“We have one employee from the dealership deceased, a woman who was killed by the suspect. I can also confirm that the suspect is deceased,” Modeste said.
The woman died at the scene as did the suspect after multiple officers returned fire, according to Modeste.
She said that while Albany police would be investigating the fatal shooting of the female employee at the dealership, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office would be taking the lead on the investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting of the suspect.
Several employees of the dealership fled to a nearby business. Nafanua Pele owns an auto repair shop down the street and was there to help.
“Earlier, they ran over here and the girls were crying. We didn’t know until one of the girls fell off the van from Toyota. She was right there next to the worker that got shot,” Pele said.
Employees told Pele the victim and the shooter knew each other.
“It ended up being domestic violence. The boyfriend shot the girl in there,” Pele said.
Berkeley police would not say much about the victim and suspect or whether they knew each other. However, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office provided an update late Thursday indicating they were in a relationship.
“Investigators have determined that the incident was an act of domestic violence,” Modeste said in the release.
Berkeley’s mayor released a statement saying that the suspect shot one individual at the Toyota service center before being shot and subdued by police. He thanked police and firefighters for their work responding to the shooting.
“Berkeley’s first responders leapt into action and into harm’s way this morning and their rapid response may have prevented further casualties,” Mayor Jesse Arreguín said. “We are grateful to our officers for putting their lives on the line to confront this armed suspect. On behalf of the city of Berkeley I want to extend our heartfelt condolences to the victim’s family. The number of guns on our streets continues to pose an unacceptable threat to our community and the many women and men who go to work every day to protect us.”
The police shooting remains under investigation. Police said additional information would be provided as it became available.
KPIX correspondent Andrea Nakano contributed to this report