Update, Jan. 18: The Alameda County coroner’s office identified the man as 32-year-old Malik Djoumi. His cause of death is still pending.
Original story: A man, likely in his late 30s, was found dead in People’s Park on Tuesday afternoon, according to neighbors and local law enforcement.
The man had lived in a tent at the park for at least a year, according to his neighbors. He was found by people who frequent the area, and UC police and the Alameda County coroner’s office responded to the site shortly after noon.
Anthony Thomas, a Berkeley resident who has known the man who died for a little over 10 years, was walking past his tent at the park when he heard others say someone had died inside.
Thomas went into the tent and found the man dead, and rushed to a pay phone to call 911.
The coroner’s office hasn’t identified him publicly yet, pending notification of family members. They haven’t released a cause of death.
“This last year, he really tried to get his life together,” said Thomas, who crossed paths with the man in Berkeley shelters over a decade ago. “But it’s hard when you’re around the same people you’ve been doing shit with.”
Park occupants said they had spoken to the man Monday afternoon. They said, he headed off to his tent and was later heard snoring.
People who knew him said he lived in Berkeley and People’s Park off and on for over 15 years and that he and one other sibling grew up in Berkeley.
It’s the second death at the park in recent months. Tyler Cary, a former UC Davis student and park occupant, died there in November.
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