Felon gets 4-year sentence for shooting at off-duty cop

Marzel Parker has "an extensive criminal history" dating back to 2008 when he was 13, according to court records.

Felon gets 4-year sentence for shooting at off-duty cop
Police investigate a shooting on Oregon Street in South Berkeley on Nov. 30, 2022. Ariel Nava Photo

A man who shot at an off-duty Berkeley police officer who recognized his car from an auto burglary case has been sentenced to four years in prison, court records show.

Marzel Parker, 28, fired 22 rounds from an automatic weapon toward the officer's car and a nearby elementary school on Nov. 30, 2022, according to court records.

Parker was driving his own car at the time of the shooting and cellphone records also put him in the area, according to police.

Berkeley police arrested him in the days after the shooting when he turned up at John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek seeking treatment for a stab wound he said he had sustained during a robbery attempt, according to court records.

"Parker has an extensive criminal history of violent and serious offenses dating to 2008 when he was placed on juvenile wardship probation at the young age of 13," according to court records. "Despite court interventions, he continued to reoffend and escalated to an out-of-home placement, eventually having his juvenile probation terminated unsatisfactorily in 2015 due to continued arrests as an adult."

One of those arrests was on suspicion of attempted murder, although he was never charged with that crime, court records show.

Felon charged with shooting at off-duty Berkeley cop
Authorities believe Marzel Parker used an automatic weapon based on “audio recording from nearby security video and the volume of rounds fired.”

Parker did incur four felony convictions that sent him to state and federal prison, according to court records.

A probation officer noted that Parker's convictions had been "numerous or of increasing seriousness."

Marzel Parker. BPD

He was on federal supervised release for a firearms offense at the time of the Berkeley shooting.

"His prior offenses were similar in nature in that he shot at others and caused great bodily injury to those victims," according to a recent probation report. "The victim … and the community at large are fortunate to have no injuries as Mr. Parker had no regard for the safety of the community."

On the day of the shooting, Officer Alfonso Lomeli — who has since left BPD for another law enforcement agency — had been on his way to work at 3 p.m. when he spotted a silver BMW with tinted windows on Shattuck Avenue and thought it might relate to an auto burglary report he'd taken the prior night.

Lomeli followed the car to confirm it was the same one and called BPD to have patrol officers respond.

As he turned onto Oregon Street to keep an eye on the driver, he realized the BMW had stopped and that the driver's door was open. Then the driver leaned out and fired in his direction, Lomeli testified at a preliminary hearing last year.

Lomeli stopped and the driver fled as BPD officers responded to the scene, on Oregon Street near Sylvia Mendez Elementary School.

No bullets struck the school or his car, but they did hit a tree and pavement in the area, he testified. BPD found 22 casings at the scene.

Over the years, Parker's attorney has disputed that he was the person behind the wheel and has also said that the shooter could not have known it was an off-duty officer behind him.

Berkeley PD: Man in suspicious car shot at off-duty officer
The officer was not harmed. Police found 22 casings at the shooting scene, which was near Sylvia Mendez Elementary.

Marzel Parker originally was charged with assault with a firearm, shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to court papers.

In March, as part of a negotiated settlement, he entered a no-contest plea in connection with a single count of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, which is a "lesser related charge" that replaced the original charge of assault with a firearm.

In recent weeks, Parker was sentenced to four years at San Quentin Rehabilitation Center and received 976 days (or 2.7 years) of credit for his 488 days in custody.

He was still in custody at Santa Rita Jail as of publication time.

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