BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) – Berkeley police are being tight-lipped about a triple stabbing that happened over the weekend, holding details about their investigation close to the vest. But a city council member and neighbors say the suspect is the son of the woman who was killed.
Berkeley city councilmember Sophie Hahn says the woman stabbed to death Saturday afternoon in the hills was in her 60s. She was a well-known artist and jewelry maker who was killed by her own son, Hahn said. The suspect was identified as Jonah Jeremiah Roper, 36.
“It is the most unspeakable thing to murder a parent,” she said.
The stabbing death marks Berkeley’s first homicide of the year. It happened at around 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
Neighbors say the suspect killed his mom in her home on Overlook Road. They say he then chased down his mother’s partner and stabbed him, as well as another neighbor. Both survived their injuries.
“What it looks like to me is a very troubled individual with a long record of criminal acts who, for whatever reason, finally achieved a violent act that he may have been contemplating for a long time,” Hahn said.
Police say officers spotted the suspect in a stolen car leaving the area when they arrived on scene. They chased him until he crashed about three miles away and was taken into custody.
“My understanding is there had been some restraining orders previously for the stepfather. I’m not sure if the mother also may have had restraining orders. But this is a violent individual, a troubled individual – that, the records show. And, it’s absolutely tragic,” Hahn said.
Hahn says the community should rest easy knowing the suspect is behind bars and is no longer a threat.
“It’s an unspeakable act of violence that I do believe might have been avoided if we had a real mental health system and real help available for people,” Hahn said.
Bay City News contributed to this story.