April 27, 2021
Dear Berkeley City College Community,
At Berkeley City College, we transform lives. It is devastating when one of those lives is tragically lost. This past weekend we learned that BCC student Demetrius Roosevelt Fleming-Davis was struck and killed by a stray gunshot in West Oakland on April 10, 2021. He was 18 years old. He would have turned 19 last Thursday. I am heartbroken by this tragedy and another senseless killing in our community. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.
According to the Mercury News, Demetrius was riding in the back seat of a friend’s truck in West Oakland when he was struck and killed by a stray bullet. Police said neither Demetrius nor his friends were the intended targets. In fact, the shooting occurred near the Acts Full Gospel Church where Demetrius worshiped with his family. The Oakland Police Department and Crime Stoppers are offering up to $15,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Police Department’s homicide unit at (510) 238-3821.
Demetrius began taking classes at Berkeley City College in summer 2019; this was his fourth semester at BCC and he was a deeply engaged student planning his future with our counselors. As a member of the BCC Society of Scholars, Demetrius recently participated in the African American Male Education Network (A2MEND) as a student scholar.
His obituary states, “Demetrius was a devoted family member and community member, who truly cared for others. In addition to taking college courses at BCC and working at the Dollar Tree, he was also an intern at Berkeley Youth Alternatives and an involved member of his church, Acts Full Gospel.” A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help the family. Those who wish to donate may do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/demetrius-flemingdavis.
Such a tragic loss is painful for all of us, and particularly so for those who knew Demetrius personally. Berkeley City College students in need of help can access our mental health services here: https://www.berkeleycitycollege.edu/wellness-center/mental-health/. BCC staff can access Peralta’s Employee Assistance Program provided by MHN by calling them toll-free at 1-800-535-4985, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a referral to a Participating Practitioner and to request authorization of treatment. TDD callers can dial 1-800-327-0801.
Please take a moment to check in with your co-workers, colleagues, friends, and family. An encouraging word and a moment of focused listening can be an important source of support for those close to us. My heart is heavy this morning at the loss of another bright star, whose light was dimmed far too soon.
Angélica Garcia, Ed.D.