Officers responded to a home near Shasta Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard after a woman called to report a suspicious person trespassing near her garage, according to Berkeley police.
The woman's husband reportedly went outside to confront the suspect when he was assaulted, police said.
The man was treated at the scene by the first police officer before being taken to a local trauma center by Berkeley Fire Department paramedics, police said.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police were not discussing details of the attack and did not releasing the victim's name on Sunday.
While officers were conducting an investigation in the neighborhood where the alleged assault occurred, a man was seen in the area who matched the suspect description.
Daniel Jordan Dewitt, 23, of Alameda, was detained and subsequently arrested for murder, police said.
Dewitt is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.
The killing marks Berkeley's second homicide of 2012.
Anyone who might have information regarding the case is asked to contact Berkeley police at (510) 981-5741.