Police investigate death of 70-year-old male found near Delaware Street

Update 2/2/15: This article has been updated to reflect information from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Bureau.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Bureau identified the deceased man found near Delaware Street as 70-year-old Gary Skupa.

Skupa served as a board member and secretary at Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center, which holds performances and classes for the community of dance and music rooted in traditional cultures around the world, according to its website.

After Berkeley Police Department received a report Sunday evening about 4:30 p.m. of a person down on the West Street path near Delaware Street, Berkeley Fire Department and BPD responded upon the call and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene, BPD spokesperson Officer Jennifer Coats said.

Police initially classified the case as a “suspicious death” because it appeared that the victim passed away unattended in a public area. But as of Monday afternoon, the death of the victim, who police say appears to have been riding his bicycle and collapsed, is no longer being investigated as suspicious.

“We have to gather as much information as possible to try and determine what may have occurred,” Coats said, in an email, explaining that the investigation is a death — not a murder — investigation.

Check back for details.


Bo Kovitz is a news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @beau_etc.