BERKELEY -- After surrounding a home for more than three hours Wednesday night to locate someone thought to have fired several shots in two areas, police called off the search and determined there was no threat.

The incident began around 7 p.m., when Berkeley police received several reports of possible gunshots fired on the 2200 block of San Pablo Avenue, according to spokeswoman Jennifer Coats. Around 8:20 p.m., as officers were investigating the first report, other callers also reported shots fired in the 1600 block of Addison Street.

Steven Botterill, an assistant dean and professor of Italian studies at UC Berkeley, was parking his car on Jefferson Avenue after dining out with his wife when he heard the second round of shots around 8:20 p.m. He described them as loud -- "four rapid miniature explosions; so close, they seemed, that both of us kind of jumped."

Soon, he said, the area was swarming with police cars.

Police believed the suspect, who they would not identify, may have gone into a home on Addison Street, Coats said. Officers contacted the family members from the home and convinced them to evacuate.

Police established a perimeter and attempted to contact the suspect, calling land and mobile phone numbers and using a bullhorn. Around 11:30 p.m., they determined that there was no active or immediate threat, and removed their perimeter, Coats said.

Police did not search the home, she said.

There were no injuries reported. One of the bullets did cause minor damage to a vacant building on San Pablo Avenue, Coats said.


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Contact Daniel M. Jimenez at djimenez@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/DMJreports.