By Doug Oakley
Kenneth Warren had just left his uncle's barbershop Thursday evening and was walking up steps to a home next door on Emerson Street when he was gunned down, his uncle said Friday.
The 35-year-old Hercules father of five died a short time later at Highland Hospital in Oakland, police said.
"He slapped my knee and said 'I'll see you tomorrow, uncle' and not 15 seconds later I hear a barrage of gunfire," said Don Warren, 61, owner of Don's Headquarters on Shattuck Avenue, as he broke into tears. "He was a caring father, a mentor to kids. He was a good person."
|Don Warren, owner of Don's Headquarters in Berkeley, gets a hug on Friday Jan. 27, 2012 in his barbershop the day after his nephew Kenny Warren was shot dead in a flurry of bullets after leaving the barbershop where he worked. (Photo by Doug Oakley)|
|A picture of Kenny Warren and his barber's license hang above the barber's chair where he worked at Don's Headquarters in Berkeley. Warren was shot dead after leaving work on Jan. 26. (Photo by Doug Oakley)|
The shooter must have been waiting for him, Don Warren said.
The home where Kenneth Warren was going to meet a friend at about 7 p.m. was riddled with bullets and the front window broken. A neighbor said he heard at least 15 shots fired, in two separate bursts.
Don Warren said he heard the shots and breaking glass where bullets hit the Emerson Street house, but didn't get a look at the shooter.
"We didn't go peeping out the window when we heard the shots," he said. "This was cold blooded and a careless act and it doesn't solve anything. Killing doesn't solve anything."
Kenneth Warren had worked at the barbershop, Don's Headquarters, with his uncle for seven years and also worked at the Port of Oakland, Don Warren said.
Police have no suspects in custody. The death is Berkeley's first reported homicide of the year.
The victim had two sons and three daughters, ranging in age from 8 to 15, said his sister.
"I want justice for my bother," said Keesha Warren, 26, who lives in Vallejo. "His kids are without a father now, his sisters don't have a brother and his uncle doesn't have a nephew."
Police dispatchers started receiving calls about gunshots heard in the area around 6:50 p.m. Thursday.
Paramedics arrived and found a man with gunshot wounds a few minutes later, Berkeley police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said.
Paramedics worked on the victim at the scene for about 30 minutes and then transferred him to Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he was pronounced dead.
From evidence at the scene, "it doesn't appear that it was a random shooting," Kusmiss said.
Kusmiss said police had a crowd control issues when people gathered in the area after hearing the shots.
Doug Oakley covers Berkeley. Contact him at 510-843-1408. Follow him at Twitter.com/douglasoakley.