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Elderly Berkeley Landlord Charged With Trying To Murder Tenant Over Unpaid Rent

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) -- An elderly Berkeley landlord is facing attempted murder charges for allegedly shooting one of his tenants over unpaid rent.

Police said the shooting happened on Wednesday morning at the tenant's apartment on Essex St. in south Berkeley.

Herman Levi Little
Herman Levi Little (Berkeley Police Dept.)

The victim, identified as Timothy Loving, was shot twice in the chest and once in the hand. His landlord, 75-year-old Herman Levi Little, was identified as the suspect.

Police said Little showed up at Loving's apartment ready to murder him, armed with a handgun equipped with a silencer.

"No one heard a gunshot because there was a silencer on the gun and no one heard an argument because there wasn't one," said Loving's friend Dottie Moore.

Moore said Loving had an agreement with his landlord that he couldn't pay rent due to a recent medical emergency.

Loving had just come home to find his landlord, who lived upstairs, sitting on the steps with some papers, said Moore. Little put a gun to Loving's head and pulled the trigger twice, but the gun jammed, she said.

"He's been living there five years and never had a problem so we're all just baffled as to how this could even happen," said Moore.

According to police records, Loving was able to lock Levi out after initially being shot, but the landlord used his master key to unlock the door and shoot at him again.

After being shot three times, Loving was able to run for his life, landing at a cannabis dispensary across the street where guards, police and paramedics saved his life.

Police said Loving was in danger of dying at the dispensary after suffering what they called a "sucking chest wound" which prevented proper breathing.

On Friday, he still had bullet fragments in chest and hand.

"It's just very overwhelming because we're living in a difficult time right now with the rent crisis," said Moore, "I never thought it would be over rent."

Moore and her sister, Nina, say they want justice in more ways than one. "The silencers, just like the bump stocks - I want justice for him, I want gun control for him," said Nina Moore.

"I'm gonna show up [in court] every day until I see justice prevail because this is unacceptable," said Dottie Moore.

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