Berkeley Police Investigate Two Weekend Homicides

Bay City News
Tuesday September 25, 2007

Berkeley police are investigating two deaths on Saturday as the city’s third and fourth homicide of 2007.  

In one case, Berkeley police are looking for a vehicle that may be involved in a shooting that took place at the intersection of 63rd and King streets.  

At approximately 3:30 p.m. Saturday multiple reports were called in of shots fired. When police arrived on the scene, they found that a man had been shot multiple times in the upper torso, said Lt. Wesley Hester.  

The man, whose age and identity are being withheld, was brought to Highland Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to Hester. 

The shooter fled the scene but people nearby reported that at one point he occupied an older, faded, dark blue minivan, said Hester, possibly a 1980s vintage. Berkeley police have given information about the shooter and the vehicle to police from Oakland and Emeryville, and to California Highway Patrol. 

Hester said that at least one person is suspected of being involved in the shooting. In the case of the other homocide reported that day, a resident of a home in the 1800 block of Eighth Street called police at 4:36 a.m. Saturday, notifying 911 operators of a male acquaintance who the caller said fell and hit his head, according to Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss. 

When officers arrived, they found a man believed to be in his 30s “lifeless” outside on a walkway, Kusmiss said. Berkeley Fire Department paramedics pronounced the man dead at about 4:42 a.m.  

According to Kusmiss, officers are “not sure if a fall was part of the equation,” and “due to the nature of the victim’s apparent injuries, lack of clear or sufficient facts as to what happened and the obvious gravity of the incident, detectives of the Berkeley Police Department’s homicide detail have taken over the investigation and are pursuing the case as a homicide.’’  

Police are withholding the victim’s name and the specific nature of his injuries out of concern that the release of the information might impact the investigation.