OAKLAND -- Two reputed gang members, one already in custody and the other a fugitive, were charged Friday with the December 2011 fatal shooting of a 23-year-old Merchant Marine Academy graduate killed over a minor traffic accident, police said.
Giovonte Douglas, 21, of Richmond, who was arrested Oct. 1 in Sacramento, and Cartier Hunter, 24, of Oakland, who is being sought on a no-bail warrant, were each charged with murder in the Dec. 22, 2011, killing of Charles H. Butler Jr, who was shot about 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of 46th and West streets less than a block from his home. The suspects did not know him, police said.
Police said Hunter was the suspected shooter and Douglas the getaway driver. Hunter, who has a prior burglary conviction, is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Investigators said they got the information they needed to get charges filed after Butler's father, who has a terminal illness, made an emotional plea in a television interview Sept. 5 for tips. Officer Phong Tran said witnesses then came forward and identified both Hunter and Douglas as the suspects. Douglas has denied being involved, police said.
Police said the shooting stemmed from a minor accident that happened a short time earlier outside a store near 45th and Market streets. Police said Butler was trying to park and accidentally brushed Douglas' 1992 Lexus.
Tran said the two suspects then followed Butler's car to 46th and West in Douglas' car where Hunter opened fire on Butler and killed him. Some of Butler's organs were later donated to others.
Douglas was arrested on suspicion of murder in April 2012 but was released a few days later pending further investigation.
Anyone with information about Hunter's whereabouts is asked to call police at 510-238-3821.