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Two Arrests Made in Prince Street Murder By Richard Brenneman

Friday March 31, 2006

Berkeley police arrested two suspects in the Saturday night murder of a father who was shot after he took a gun away from a party goer in his Prince Street home. 

Aderian “Dre” Gaines, 36, died in the bedroom of his home in the 1500 block of Prince Street after he was shot shortly after  

9:30 p.m. Saturday. 

A friend, identified only as “Nat” or Nathaniel, was also shot in the arm. Police have declined to give his name. “He doesn’t want it released,” said Berkeley police spokesperson Officer Ed Galvan. 

The two suspects James Freeman, 29, and Antonio Harris, 18, were arrested in Oakland Wed-nesday, Galvan announced in a written statement. 

Harris, described by Galvan as “the identified shooter,” barricaded himself inside a home near 83rd Avenue and Olive Street in East Oakland after Berkeley Police arrived at the scene about 5 p.m. 

The Berkeley officers called in the Oakland Police Department SWAT Team, and “after a short standoff, Harris surrendered,” Galvan reported. 

Freeman was arrested without incident earlier in the day at an apartment on Kirkham Way in West Oakland by Berkeley homicides investigators, accompanied by a contingent from the BPD Barricaded Suspect Hostage Negotiation Team and Oakland officers. 

Harris was charged with one count of murder and one count of attempted murder. Freeman was booked on one murder count only. 

The murder occurred during a party at the Gaines home, where the family had been hosting events at which participants were charged for admission. 

Saturday night’s party was the celebration of a local student’s 15th birthday, and word of the event had circulated by cell phone text messages, police reported. 

The two suspects were identified as members of a group who, witness Natasha Jackson saiid, had demanded entry and threatened to kick down the door if they were refused. 

Jackson said she called for Gaines after seeing one of the guests, “a 29-year-old,” dancing with a pistol tucked into the waistband of his pants. 

Gaines took the pistol, which Jackson identified as a black nine-millimeter semiautomatic. 

“After Gaines kicked him out of the party, the suspect returned and shot Gaines to death,” Galvan reported. 

Gaines was slain in the front bedroom of the house and “Nat” was apparently shot near the back steps. 

The older man and the shooter then piled into a car along with eight others and fled the scene, Jackson and other witnesses reported. 

Jackson said the older man had many tattoos, including one that identified him as claiming West Oakland identity and another featuring a pistol. 

Party goers had to sign in, and they were also frisked for weapons, Jackson has said. Police took the sign-in sheets, which identified attendees by their geographical area. 

The fence outside the Gaines residence was marked by graffiti, including those of the “South Side Boys,” the name of a South Berkeley gang. Symbols for Oakland groups had been X-ed out. 

One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said shots had been fired outside after an earlier party at the home, but Galvan was not available Thursday to confirm the account..