A Berkeley man quietly sobbed on the witness stand today as he testified about an incident in which he was shot and his former brother-in-law was killed one block south of the UC Berkeley campus on senior graduation day last spring. Marcus Mosley said he argued with murder suspect Nathaniel Freeman on Durant Avenue about 3:50 p.m. on May 13 and then Freeman opened fire, injuring Mosley and killing Oakland Parks and Recreation employee Maceo Smith, a 33-year-old Berkeley man who was the father of three children.
No one in the case is affiliated with UC Berkeley, but Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and many students, including graduating seniors in caps and gowns, stopped by to watch the police investigation.
Mosley testified in the second day of a preliminary hearing for Freeman, 20, in Alameda County Superior Court.
Judge C. Don Clay is expected to rule today (Thursday) if there’s enough evidence to have Freeman stand trial on a murder charge for Smith’s death and an assault with a deadly weapon charge for the injuries that Mosley sustained. After the incident, Berkeley police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said the shooting occurred on the sidewalk in front of the Pacific Film Archive on Durant Avenue just east of Bowditch Street.
Kusmiss said the shooting occurred after Freeman ran into Mosley on Durant Avenue and the two men rekindled a dispute that started with a confrontation at a party a week earlier.
Kusmiss said Mosley eventually called Smith to help him out in his argument with Freeman.
She said the argument continued after Smith arrived and Freeman pulled out a gun at the southwest corner of Durant Avenue and Bowditch Street and shot both Smith and Mosley.
According to Kusmiss, after Smith was shot he staggered across both Durant Avenue and Bowditch Street and collapsed in a parking lot at 2542 Durant Ave. The lot is next to the well-known Top Dog hot dog stand at 2534 Durant Ave. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.
Kusmiss said Mosley got into his silver Cadillac, abandoned Smith and drove himself to Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he was treated for non-life threatening gunshot wounds and released.
She said Freeman fled on foot but he turned himself in to Berkeley police the next day.
Berkeley police said Smith was well-known to them because he frequently was in trouble with the law over the years.
Smith had a lengthy arrest record, including for illegal gun and drug charges, but he was never convicted of a felony.