Murder victims-- who died after being shot via open fire in a third floor apartment-- include a widowed mother named Winta T. Mehari, 28, of Berkeley, her brother Yonas Mehari, 17, who lived at the apartment, and their mother, Regbe Bahrenegasi, 50. According to Runners, the three are cousins of Meb Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic marathon silver medalist. Young Yonas was a soccer player thought to have leadership potential. His team and high school classmates continue to mourn this week.

The murders are thought to be in retaliation for Mehari’s suspected role in her husband, Abraham Tewolde’s death earlier this year. Tewolde, was 42, and the brother of Asmeron Gebreselassie, 43, and Tewodros Gebreselassie, 39, the two men in custody believed to be the perps. The brothers seem to have felt the autopsy results of the Alameda County Coroner were evidence that something was amiss in their brother’s death, because the autopsy failed to reveal a specific cause of death.

It was announced this afternoon that the Gebreselassies could face the death penalty for the case. We don’t think it looks good the defense that Asmeron Gebrreselassie, the alleged gunman, said, "Whatever happened was self-defense. Everything in the newspaper is all lies." For starters, the paper is never all lies. But really, we’re pretty sure self defense doesn’t cover bursting into an apartment and shooting people, regardless of who they may be.

Photo Courtesy Mercury Register Online

SFist Mary Ladd, contributing