2 men with a baby arrested after North Berkeley gunfire

Two men brought a 9-month-old baby boy with them when they surrendered to police after a nearly three-hour standoff early Thursday morning, authorities report.

Update, March 16: On Monday, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Eduardo Valdez with several gun, weapon and drug violations along with child endangerment, according to the Berkeley Police Department.

Update, 4 p.m. Police arrested 23-year-old Berkeley resident Eduardo Valdez, the baby’s father, on suspicion of firearm possession, felony drug violations and child cruelty, according to court records online. He is being held on $80,000 bail and is set for arraignment Monday at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland. BPD said the other man, who was visiting the Berkeley Way apartment, was released after further investigation.

Update, 10 a.m. Two men were arrested on Berkeley Way early Thursday morning after a nearly three-hour standoff with authorities where police found evidence of gunfire, BPD said.

The men brought a baby boy with them when they surrendered to police at about 3:30 a.m., said Officer Byron White, BPD spokesman, in response to a Berkeleyside inquiry.


Officers initially responded just before 12:45 a.m. to the 1300 block of Berkeley Way for a gunfire investigation, White said. Authorities found evidence of gunfire outside an apartment complex there. Officers tried to talk with people in an associated apartment about what had happened, but the individuals instead locked themselves inside, White said. They did not respond to loudspeaker commands to come out.

Members of BPD’s Special Response Team, what other agencies call SWAT, responded to help with the investigation. Officers were able to negotiate with two men they believed to have been involved with the gunfire in some way to persuade them to surrender. When they did, White said, they brought a 9-month-old baby with them. One of the men was the child’s father, according to police.

Inside the apartment, police found “several handguns, ammunition and drugs,” White said. Both men were arrested and the investigation is underway so their names were not immediately available, he said.

The baby was later released to his mother, White said. No injuries were reported during the incident.


Original story: Authorities asked the community to avoid a residential block in North Berkeley early Thursday morning, according to a Nixle alert from the Berkeley Police Department.

BPD sent the alert just after 2:20 a.m. but did not provide much detail.

The alert said there was “police activity” in the 1300 block of Berkeley Way,” and that people should “avoid this area.” There was no further information.

Shortly before 1 a.m., according to audio recordings of police radio traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, multiple callers told 911 about the sound of gunfire. Callers reported hearing five to seven gunshots, according to the radio traffic.

Police zeroed in on an apartment in the 1300 block of Berkeley Way, west of Acton Street, where the sounds may have originated, according to the recordings.

Police said someone initially opened the door when officers arrived, then went back inside, according to the radio traffic.

“They’re refusing to acknowledge us or open the door after they retreated back in the house,” an officer reported over the radio.

Police are now monitoring the situation, which was still underway as of about 3 a.m.

Berkeleyside has asked Berkeley PD for confirmation and further information and will update this story when it is provided.

BPD has handled one other confirmed gunfire call in 2020. No injuries were reported in that incident, which took place at the Berkeley Marina in February.

In 2019, Berkeley PD counted 28 incidents of confirmed gunfire. Three of them left someone wounded.

The University of California Police Department also had one shooting in 2019, at People’s Park, which was fatal.

Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.com. Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.