Flash: Boy Dead, Mother Hospitalized

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday October 09, 2007

A student at Emerson Elementary School in Berkeley is dead, his mother has been hospitalized, and police are questioning her as the suspect in the boy’s death. 

Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said the San Jose police called Berkeley officers at 9:18 a.m. today (Wednesday) after their department had been called by a friend of the mother. The woman told the San Jose police that the mother had phoned her to say that her son was dead and she had been injured. 

On arriving at the wood-shingled house on Shattuck Avenue three doors south of Ashby Avenue, officers found the son dead and the mother suffering from possibly self-inflicted injuries. 

Berkeley Fire Department paramedics arrived moments later, and after treating the mother’s injuries, one of the firefighters carried her in his arms wrapped in a chenille bedspread to the waiting ambulance. 

She was taken to Highland Hospital, where she was being questioned by Berkeley homicide detectives, Sgt. Kusmiss said. 

“He was a wonderful little boy,” said a neighbor whose own children attended classes with the boy. “But we knew there was tension in the home.” 

Another neighbor said the apartment had been visited on several occasions by county social services workers.