A man who held police at bay for hours on Marin Avenue Monday night was found dead this morning of a self-inflicted gunshot.
The man entered a house into the 1800 block of Marin Avenue around 7:30 pm and started firing shots out into the street, according to residents living on Marin Avenue near The Alameda. One bullet entered a home across the street, narrowly missing one man. He had just come home from work and leaned down to hug his young daughter when he heard a noise.
“I heard this popping sound and felt a whoosh through my hair,” said the man, who asked not to be named. “The bullet went through the window and into our back wall. Had I been standing straight up, I wouldn’t be talking to you.”
The bullet had shattered a pane in a front door (see photo above) and lodged in a back wall. Police told the man and his family to hole themselves up in a back room to avoid gunfire. The family spent hours there Monday night. Other neighbors who lived on Marin were not permitted to return to their homes all night.
Police officers later told the man that the shooter had barged into his estranged wife’s home and had briefly held her hostage. He eventually let her go but remained in the house.
Berkeley police called in SWAT teams to assist and spent hours trying to negotiate with the man. When police entered the home around 4:20 am, they found that the man had killed himself, according to KGO News 7.
“We called out our barricaded subject hostage negotiation team and attempted to negotiate with the individual,” Berkeley Police Sgt. Robert Rittenhouse told KGO 7 News. “Just recently a team entered the house and found who we believe to be our subject suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
The name of the suspect has not yet been released.
UPDATE 12:10 pm: Lt. Andrew Greenwood of the Berkeley Police Department issued a media advisory which said police were called to Marin Avenue at 7:36 pm after someone reported something “loud” happening in the 1800 block. A few minutes later, the first officer on the scene heard two shots fired. Greenwood did not offer any information about whether this was a domestic dispute; he said in a phone conversation that he was restricting his comments to how police were called to the scene. Greenwood also said that Berkeley police did not fire any bullets at the house in which the man had barricaded himself. There was no exchange of gunfire.