Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Murder Suspect Arrested



Police on Tuesday arrested one of two men suspected in the shooting death of a 23-year-old man outside a San Francisco pot club on Sept. 14.

Ijeoma Ogbuagu, 20, of San Francisco, was taken into custody without incident in Burlingame at about 2 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

A second suspect, Julius Hughes, 24, is still at large. Police said he is considered armed and dangerous.

Royshawn Holden, of San Francisco, was gunned down at about 9:30 p.m. outside the Mr. Nice Guy pot club, near the corner of Valencia Street and Duboce Avenue, following an argument with the two suspects, according to police.

Officers found Holden lying in the street, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He died at San Francisco General Hospital.

Anyone with information about Hughes is asked to call the San Francisco police homicide detail at (415) 553-1145 or the confidential tip line at (415) 575-4444.

Police have posted a photograph of Hughes at

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Two Men Arrested For Series Of Robberies

2 Arrested In Series Of SF Robberies

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) ― Two men were arrested in San Francisco at about midnight after a series of street robberies in the city throughout Tuesday night, according to police.

The men, whose identities have yet to be released, were arrested in a vehicle at about 11:55 p.m. near the intersection of 18th and Harrison streets, police said.

Starting in the early evening, the suspects allegedly robbed a number of victims in different locations around the city, according to police, who said the case is still under investigation.

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Rapes Up 40%

Rape reports jump 40% in S.F., police say

Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Reports of rape in San Francisco have increased nearly 40 percent over last year, and San Francisco police are not sure what is behind the increase.

Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 7, there have been 130 reported rapes in the city, compared with 94 over the same period last year, according to statistics presented at City Hall this week.

Police officials said they did not know what exactly is driving the numbers, but believe it is an increase in reports of acquaintance rapes, such as date rape.

"We're trying to determine what the issue is," Acting Deputy Chief John Goldberg told a Board of Supervisors committee. He said rape is significantly underreported, and he thinks outreach by the department with advocacy groups may have spurred the increase in reports.

"This is not an increase ... in forced sexual assaults," Goldberg said.

He promised a "more thorough and complete analysis" for the supervisors at the next Public Safety Committee meeting.

Janelle White, executive director of San Francisco Women Against Rape, said she has not seen a dramatic increase in the number of people contacting her organization. She said she would need more specific information about the rape reports before she could speak to what is driving the increase.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Man Shot In The Mission



One man was arrested in San Francisco this evening after allegedly shooting and injuring another man, police said.

The shooting occurred around 7:40 p.m. in the 400 block of 14th Street where the suspect reportedly shot the victim in the back, according to police.

Officers followed the suspect on foot after he attempted to flee but were able to take him into custody.

The victim was transported to the hospital and is expected to survive, police said.

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Man Killed In Potrero Hill Shooting

Man shot to death in Potrero Hill

Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

(09-23) 19:51 PDT San Francisco -- A man was shot to death this afternoon in an industrial area of Potrero Hill near the waterfront, San Francisco police said.

The shooting happened at 1:48 p.m. on the 1400 block of Illinois Street near 24th street, east of Third Street, police said. The victim was pronounced dead a short time later. The San Francisco Medical Examiner's office identified the victim as Armando Rodriguez, 32, of San Francisco.

People in the area said they heard numerous shots, looked and saw a man running west on 24th. There was no immediate description, and no arrests have been made.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Police Officers Injured In Chase

SF Police Pursuit Injures Several Officers

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) ― Four police officers were injured Monday during a vehicle pursuit along the streets of San Francisco that came to an end at San Francisco City College.

Police spokesman Sgt. Wilfred Williams said the incident began around 3:55 p.m. when officers attempted to stop a vehicle near the intersection of Junipero Serra Boulevard and 19th Avenue.

The vehicle had been driving recklessly and went out of control just before stopping, said Williams. After the vehicle came to a complete stop, the officers stepped out of the vehicle but the driver accelerated and the vehicle traveled at the officers, Williams said.

He said it was reported that the officers fired shots at the vehicle in order to eliminate the threat but did not hit either of the two people inside.

The vehicle continued north on Junipero Serra Boulevard and the officers followed in the police car with additional officers in pursuit as well, Williams said. The suspect vehicle turned onto Holloway Avenue and as it neared Harold Avenue, the vehicle attempted to reverse and struck one of the police cars.

A second collision between the suspect vehicle and a police vehicle occurred after the pursuit led the cars onto Harold Avenue toward Ocean Avenue, according to Williams. It was there that the suspect vehicle came to a final stop and the two suspects, one male and one female, attempted to flee on foot, Williams said.

The officers were able to detain both suspects who were booked into jail pending several charges, Williams said. It was determined the suspect vehicle had been stolen.

Four officers involved in the pursuit were injured, he said. Three were transported to San Francisco General Hospital and then released. The fourth officer did not require medical assistance.

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Two Shot In Hunters Point

SF police probe double shooting in Bayview

Chronicle Staff Report

Monday, September 22, 2008

(09-22) 00:15 PDT San Francisco -- San Francisco police are investigating a double shooting that occurred Sunday night in the Bayview district.

At about 9:13 p.m., two people were shot around the area of Griffith Street and Gilman Avenue, police said.

The two victims were taken to San Francisco General Hospital, police said

No other information about the shooting was immediately available.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Three Killed Over The Weekend

Three dead in S.F. slayings

Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, September 21, 2008

(09-21) 17:09 PDT SAN FRANCISCO - -- San Francisco police are looking for suspects in three homicides that happened over the weekend, including a daylight stabbing Sunday in the Tenderloin.

At about 10:45 a.m. Sunday, police said, a 59-year-old man was stabbed during an argument with a second man on the 200 block of Hyde Street, between Turk and Eddy streets. The unidentified victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police Sgt. Wilfred Williams, a department spokesman, said the suspect was described by witnesses as a stocky, 5-foot-2 white man between 55 and 60 years old, with white hair and a white beard and wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt and a blue jacket.

In another incident, officers responded to a report of gunfire at 10:25 p.m. Saturday on the 100 block of Kiska Road in Bayview-Hunters Point.

They found a 59-year-old man in the street suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, police said. The victim, who was not identified, was later pronounced dead at San Francisco General Hospital. The suspect wore a ski mask and black clothing, Williams said.

A third homicide happened at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday on the 1700 block of Newcomb Avenue, which is a block west of busy 3rd Street in Bayview-Hunters Point. Darius Cooper-Brooks, a 26-year-old city resident, was fatally shot, authorities said. He was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police have made no arrests, and they released no further information about possible suspects or motives in the cases.

Williams urged anyone with information about the killings to call homicide investigators at (415) 553-1145 or an anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Man Shot In The Tenderloin

A man was shot at 1:30 this morning in the doorway of an apartment building on Hyde Street, between Geary and O'Farrell. A reader at SFist sent in some pictures of the crime scene and a description of the shooting, which you can see here. There's no word from the news on this one yet.

SF Store Owner Shot Dead In Novato - Man Stabbed In The Back During Card Game

- A San Francisco store owner was shot to death last weekend in Novato. Police believe he may have been killed as retaliation for identifying suspects who had robbed his Bernal Heights Store last month.

- A man was stabbed in the back last night in Ingleside, while playing cards with an acquaintance. He was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, but has since been listed in stable condition. The suspect, 51 year-old Augusto Soriano, of San Francisco, tried to run from police but was arrested a couple blocks away.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Man Shot And Killed In The Richmond District

Man on bike killed in S.F.'s Richmond District

Jaxon Van Derbeken,Steve Rubenstein, Chronicle Staff Writers

Thursday, September 18, 2008

(09-17) 16:46 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Jordan McCay was just trying to get back home in San Francisco after a long day at work in Berkeley and an evening seeing off a friend traveling to Asia.

He almost made it but came up two blocks short.

The 23-year-old went from his job at a film production outfit in Berkeley on Tuesday night to say good-bye to a friend in Oakland who was leaving for Asia the next day. McCay boarded BART to San Francisco, then pedaled his bicycle across town to the Richmond District by early Wednesday.

In that normally peaceful neighborhood - just two blocks from his home - he was confronted by two men on the street. After an argument, someone shot and killed him at 1:40 a.m. near the corner of 15th Avenue and Cabrillo Street, police said.

"He was coming home, coming down the street - we really don't know what happened," said Lt. Mike Stasko of the San Francisco homicide detail.

The killer left behind the victim's bike - worth as much of $1,000 - and his backpack. "Everything was still there," Stasko said.

Mark Pardini, 38, who lives on 15th Avenue, said he heard "pretty angry voices going back and forth" for a few seconds before hearing gunfire. "It was quick ... probably like 15 seconds" he said, but added he couldn't quite hear what was being said.

"Obviously, they were angry. And then I heard a gunshot and then, about five to 10 seconds later, I heard a car driving away."

Mortally wounded, McKay dropped his bicycle in the street and knocked on doors for help before collapsing outside a set of flats on Cabrillo, police and residents said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police have no description of assailants, investigators said.

McKay's father, Matthew, said his son had recently graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in economics and a minor in film. He worked for a while as a busboy at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, then got an internship at Assemble, a post-production company in Berkeley. He said his son was working on computer modeling and post-production animation for an upcoming Bruce Willis film.

"He was just a couple blocks from home," McKay said. "It seems like, nobody knows for sure, but he was in this fight with two guys. They must have jumped him. One of them pulled out a gun and shot him."

He was living with his girlfriend, whom he met in high school, his father said.

"He was a good guy, he went to school, worked hard. He had a lot of great friends and was just kind of on his way in his career," he said.

"How do you sum up a life? He had a wonderful sense of humor. He was a determined, creative person. He really wanted to get skilled and was learning a lot of different things."

McKay said police were not optimistic about the chances of solving his son's slaying.

"They don't have any eyewitnesses who could identify them - they only saw distant shapes, struggling," the father said he was told.

The killing shocked residents of the neighborhood.

"It's very safe. Everyone on the blocks knows everybody," said Denise Bottarini, who has lived on Cabrillo for 10 years. "It shocks me that it happened in our neighborhood."

Pardini said the corner of 15th and Cabrillo has seen its share of drivers "doing doughnuts," or driving recklessly in circles.

Residents walked to the corner, inspected the scene and shook their heads.

Raymond Villaseñor, a contractor remodeling a three-story apartment building on the corner, said 15th Avenue is a "nice, quiet little street with not a lot of commotion.

"It gets you to think," he said. "You never know when your whole life is going to turn around. You think everything is safe. I've even been leaving my truck unlocked. I'm not going to do that any more."

Two doors away, resident Tai Chan said he "can't believe it happened here. It's supposed to be a good neighborhood."

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Hunters Point Shooting Victim Dies; Two Others Shot Dead Over The Weekend

Three people, including young mother, slain in unrelated S.F. attacks

Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, September 15, 2008

(09-15) 16:38 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco police are looking for suspects in unrelated attacks over the weekend that left three people dead, including a young mother shot and killed outside her housing project on Potrero Hill and a man slain as he left a medical-marijuana club.

The violence began Friday night when Jamal Beasley, a 24-year-old parolee who was released in February after serving time on a drug-related offense, was shot as he was walking on La Salle Avenue at Osceola Lane in Hunters Point at 10:30 p.m., authorities said. He was declared dead the next day.

On Saturday, police say, 19-year-old Caprisha Green, a mother of a 1-year-old daughter, was shot and killed in the 1000 block of Connecticut Street about 10:25 p.m. She was outside her unit at the Potrero Hill projects with several friends at the time.

"Everything we heard is that she was a good kid," said Inspector Mike Gaynor of the homicide detail.

"We have no reason to believe that she was targeted for any reason," he said. "We don't know why the shooting occurred, or whether it was a beef, or whether someone was shooting the gun off by accident."

The bloodshed continued Sunday evening, when Royshawn Holden, 23, who lived in the Western Addition, was shot and killed at 9:30 p.m. after what police said was a robbery outside Mr. Nice Guy, a medical marijuana dispensary at Duboce Avenue and Valencia Street.

The gunman approached Holden and another man after they came out of the club, robbed them and, after shooting Holden, sped off in a green minivan. The club had no comment.

Holden's mother, Tracie Holden, said her son had a job cleaning buildings and never had any run-ins with police. She said he hoped to be a firefighter.

"He was a good kid, quiet," she said. "I really don't know what to make of it."

Inspector Dennis Maffei said Holden and his friend were robbed after they left the medical marijuana club and got into a Lexus that belonged to Holden's girlfriend.

The gunman pulled the men out of the car. After being robbed, police say, Holden started to run.

"He was shooting at Royshawn as he was running," Maffei said of the killer.

He said investigators have only a vague description of the gunman.

Holden "was a young man who, for all intents and purposes, was everything the city wants young people to be," Maffei said. "He had no police contacts. Not a one. "

Holden's mother said that the car may have drawn the eye of the gunman but that her son had little cash.

"He only had $10 on him," Tracie Holden said. "He didn't have any money because the other day, he said, 'Mom, can I borrow a 10?'

"If they wanted money, they got the wrong person," she said.

No arrests have been made in any of the shootings. The killings brought to 77 the number of homicides in San Francisco, compared with 80 at the same time in 2007.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mission District Shooting Kills Man



A man who was shot after an altercation in San Francisco's Mission District Sunday night died at the hospital within hours, police Sgt. Neville Gittens said.

Emergency personnel responded to the shooting at Duboce Avenue and Valencia Street, where the victim and two others had been arguing, Gittens said.

They reportedly found the victim lying in the street, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to San Francisco General Hospital where he died.

No suspects were arrested.

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Woman Shot Dead In Potrero Hill



A woman who was fatally shot in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood Saturday night was identified today by the chief investigator at the medical examiner's office as 19-year-old Caprisha Green.

The shooting was reported in the 1000 block of Connecticut Street at about 10:25 p.m., according to police.

Officers arrived to find Green, a San Francisco resident, suffering from gunshot wounds. She was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Man Injured In Hunters Point Shooting



San Francisco police are investigating a shooting in the Bayview District Friday night that left one man hospitalized.

Police received reports of a shooting at about 10:40 p.m. near the intersection of Osceola Lane and La Salle Avenue.

Officers arrived to the scene to find a man suffering from a gunshot wound, and he was transported to San Francisco General Hospital.

The condition of the victim is unknown, and no arrests have been made, according to police

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dead Body Found In Apartment Garbage Can

Body Found In SF Apartment Trash Bin
CBS 5 CrimeWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) ― A body was found inside a plastic bag in a trash bin at an apartment building on Taylor Street Thursday, San Francisco police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said.

The discovery was reported around noon at the building at 520 Taylor St.

The death is considered a homicide, and officers initially responded with caution, thinking the killer might still be in the building, Gittens said.

Police blocked off Taylor Street between Post and Geary streets and spent the early afternoon walking back and forth between the building's front entrance and an alleyway that separates the building from the Warwick Hotel.

Gittens said the body was found in a garbage bin on wheels inside the building. He said there is an entrance to 520 Taylor St. in that alleyway.

Police have not yet released the gender or age of the victim.

However, woman answering the phone at Les Nuits de Paris massage
parlor, located next to the entrance to the apartments, said she had seen the body and it was that of a man.

She asked not to be identified, and said the trash bin had nothing to do with the massage parlor, which police confirmed.

At about 2:10 p.m. police appeared to be reopening Taylor Street. Gittens said investigators will continue interviewing residents of 520 Taylor St. this afternoon.

Angela McClure, 28, who lives Post and Taylor streets, within the area that was cordoned off, came home from work and was unable to get to her apartment.

She said she saw at least one officer carrying an automatic weapon.

A passing couple visiting San Francisco from Texas briefly wondered whether a movie was being filmed.

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Chinese Gang Members Arrested For Assaults



San Francisco police on Wednesday arrested eight teens they believe to be members of a Chinese gang responsible for several assaults on other youth in the city's Richmond and Taraval districts in recent weeks.

Seven youths and one 18-year-old, Duc Truong, all of San Francisco, were taken into custody Wednesday morning after search warrants were served at locations throughout the city, police said.

The suspects, thought to be members of the True Brothers gang, were targeting both rival gang members and non-gang members, according to police.

Five attacks took place over the past two months and involved the suspects attacking the victims with baseball bats and knives, according to police.

One victim suffered life-threatening injuries, police said.

The eight have all been charged with aggravated assault, use of a deadly weapon and false imprisonment, and one has also with robbery, according to police.

Anyone else who may have been a victim is asked to contact San Francisco police. Anyone with more information on the attacks can call the department's confidential tip line at (415) 575-4444.

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Man Falls To His Death While Running From Police - Brothels Show Increasing Presence In The Sunset - Suspect In Hell's Angels Killing Named

- A 38 year-old car-burglary suspect died on Telegraph Hill early today, after he jumped over a wall while running from police...not realizing that there was a 200 foot drop on the other side.

- Here's a chronicle article detailing a rise in brothels set up in rental homes in the Sunset district.

- A warrant was issued today for 35 year-old Chris Ablett, of Modesto, for the murder of the San Francisco Hell's Angels president, Mark "Papa Frisco" Guardado. Ablett is believed to be a member of the Mongols Motorcycle club.

- Also, two men were arrested yesterday for selling crack cocaine from within a food line for Glide Memorial Church in the Tenderloin. They had in their possession $8,000, at least 5 ounces of crack, and a stolen, loaded .45 caliber pistol. Their arrest was the result of an undercover sting operation aimed at drug dealers using the food line as a sanctuary and source of business.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mission District Shooting Victim Dies At Hospital



A man removed from life support after he and a woman were shot inside their car Thursday in San Francisco's Mission District was identified Monday by the San Francisco medical examiner's office as Giovanni Lechado, 28, of San Francisco.

Police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said Monday that Lechado was removed from life support at the hospital on Friday.

Lechado and the woman, who has not been named publicly, were shot at about 6:30 p.m. in the area of 18th and Bryant streets, while sitting inside their parked vehicle with a 4-month-old child, according to police.

Police said a man was witnessed fleeing the area in a compact silver or gray vehicle.

There was no update by police Monday on the condition of the woman, who also received life-threatening injuries, according to police. The child was uninjured.

The fatal shooting Friday night of 18-year-old Joshua Cameron, of San Francisco, in the city's Western Addition neighborhood brought San Francisco's homicide total to 73, according to Gittens. The city had 80 homicides at the same time last year, he said.

Police Monday also clarified that an Aug. 15 stabbing at a Tenderloin hotel was ruled a homicide by police, though the medical examiner's office has yet to officially rule the case a homicide, and the manner and cause of death are still pending.

The medical examiner's office on Friday released the victim's name -- Fidencio Salazar Jr., 56, of San Francisco -- in the hope that members of his family, whom investigators have been unable to reach, will contact authorities.

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Here's some more inforamtion from SFgate:

Authorities described Lechado as a "mid-level" member of the MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, street gang. They believe the slayings of two men later Thursday night may have been in retaliation for his shooting.

Lechado was shot near a bar that investigators say is popular with Sureño and MS-13 members. The two men shot to death three hours later, 19-year-old Noel Espinoza and Matthew Solomon, 23, were attacked outside a bar near 24th and Utah streets that is popular with the rival Norteño gang.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Two Shot In Potrero Hill

Two men shot Saturday on Potrero Hill

Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, September 7, 2008

(09-07) 15:08 PDT SAN FRANCISCO - -- Two men sitting in a car were shot on San Francisco's Potrero Hill Saturday night. Both men suffered non life-threatening injuries.

The men, along with another man, were in the car at 23rd and Arkansas streets on Potrero Hill when a man approached the car on foot and began shooting around 9:15 p.m., according to Sgt. Wilfred Williams of the San Francisco Police Department.

The injured men then drove themselves to San Francisco General Hospital and were treated for their injuries. Williams said police do not believe the shooting is related to the recent spate of violence in the nearby Mission District.

Police have not made an arrest in the shooting and Williams described the suspect as a man in his 30s.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Drive-By Shooting Injures Man In The Mission



A 19-year-old San Francisco man was injured in a shooting in the city's Mission District this morning, less than 24 hours after and about nine blocks away from where two men were fatally shot Thursday, police said.

The teenage man was walking west on 23rd Street at Treat Avenue in a group of four when at least one suspect in an unknown vehicle traveling south on Treat Avenue shot at the group at about 4:45 a.m., San Francisco police Sgt. Wilfred Williams said.

The 19-year-old was struck with gunfire and transported to San Francisco General Hospital. He is expected to survive his injuries, Williams said.

The three others in the group were not injured, according to Williams.

Police are investigating whether the shooting was gang-related, Williams said. No suspects have been arrested.

The double-homicide Thursday night, which marked the fifth and sixth murders in the Mission District in the past two weeks and the 10th and 11th homicides so far this year in that area, claimed the lives of San Mateo County resident Matthew Solomon, 23, and Noel Espinoza, 19, of San Francisco, according to police.

Solomon and Espinoza were shot by two men with handguns at about 9:45 p.m. Thursday at 24th and Utah streets, according to police. A woman who was with them was also shot and survived.

The suspects then fled in a silver minivan, police said.

No arrests have been made in the case.

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Shooting Kills One In The Western Addition



Police today are investigating a shooting that left an 18-year-old man dead in San Francisco's Western Addition neighborhood Friday night, a sergeant said.

Officers responded to the area of McAllister and Fillmore streets at about 7:15 p.m. Friday on reports of shots being fired, San Francisco police Sgt. Wilfred Williams said.

Upon arrival, officers found Joshua Cameron, who had been shot by an unknown black male suspect, who is possibly in his 20s. Cameron, 18, was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Williams said.

Cameron was walking southbound on Fillmore Street at McAllister Street with someone else when they were approached by the suspect who began shooting at them, and Cameron was struck by gunfire.

Alan Pringle, the chief investigator at San Francisco medical examiner's office, said Cameron was a resident of the city.

Police are seeking the public's help in locating possible witnesses. Anyone with information can contact the homicide department at (415) 553-1145, or those who wish to remain anonymous can call (415) 575-4444.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Shooting Victims Identified; Police To Step Up Presence In The Mission

2 shot to death in latest Mission violence

Steve Rubenstein,Tyche Hendricks, Chronicle Staff Writers

Friday, September 5, 2008

(09-05) 17:47 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Two friends who had tried to escape troubled lives by finding work at Goodwill Industries were shot and killed late Thursday on the edge of San Francisco's Mission District, the latest spasm of violence in an area where six people have been slain in the past two weeks.

Police announced several measures Friday to respond to the violence, including adding foot and car patrols to Mission District streets and deploying more gang task force members to the neighborhood. Community groups active in the Mission said they would also be working to head off what they feared could be more violence this weekend.

The slain men were with a woman at 24th and Utah streets about 9:45 p.m. Thursday when two men walked up and opened fire, hitting all three, police said. The gunmen got into a waiting minivan that drove east on 24th Street, investigators said.

The shooting happened a couple of doors down 24th Street from where one of the victims, 19-year-old Noel Espinoza, lived. Goodwill said the other slain man was a co-worker, Matthew Solomon, 23, of San Francisco. The woman, a 22-year-old San Francisco resident whose name was withheld, is expected to survive.

The double slaying happened about 3 1/2 hours after someone opened fire on a man and a woman sitting in a car with a 4-month-old girl in the backseat at 18th and Bryant streets, police said. The two adults were seriously wounded, but the child was not hit.

Police did not release descriptions of the attackers in either shooting or details of the investigations.

Community members believe both incidents were gang-related, with the second shooting a retaliation for the first one, said Santiago Ruiz, executive director of Mission Neighborhood Centers, who has led violence prevention efforts for more than three decades.

"In the last four weeks, the level of violence has been unprecedented," said Ruiz, who for the first time canceled his agency's after-school program Friday for fear of violence. "It's sad to see this total disregard for life. Not knowing who might be walking by, it raises a certain amount of fear."

Police step up patrols

Authorities said they would take several steps in response to the violence, including increasing beat patrols along Mission Street, adding cars to parts of the Mission and Ingleside neighborhoods and doubling the number of school resource officers at Mission High School.

"The violence in the Mission is unacceptable," Police Chief Heather Fong said at a press conference. "People involved in gang and drug activity have no regard for the community."

The slain men worked at Goodwill's store and processing center at Mission and Van Ness Avenue and were friends, said chief executive officer Deborah Alvarez-Rodriguez. They had recently been promoted to permanent positions, and Alvarez-Rodriguez praised them as "exemplary employees who had really turned their lives around."

Solomon had been featured as employee of the month in a recent company newsletter and Espinoza was scheduled to receive the same honor in the next issue, she said.

In the publication, both men said they had been in trouble with authorities and that their work at Goodwill had helped them find new directions.

"I did a lot of things in the past that got me into trouble," Solomon said. "When I came to Goodwill in August 2007 I was on parole, homeless and hardly involved with my two children. I was like a part-time father that wandered in and out of their lives."

'Helped me become a man'

Solomon said his work at Goodwill had "helped me become a man and provide for my two sons, Jayvion and Makai."

Espinoza, in his newsletter interview, said he had been referred to Goodwill after being arrested for selling drugs. Under a program for first-time offenders, the charges against Espinoza would have been dropped if he completed a year of work, training and community service.

"Now I see that I'm capable of much more than selling drugs on the street," Espinoza said.

Hours after the shootings, Mission District parents and community leaders started reaching out to youths at risk of being caught up in a cycle of retributive violence.

Near where Espinoza and Solomon were shot, a group of young people, some heavily tattooed, kept vigil beside a makeshift shrine.

An older woman drove up, got out of her car and approached the group urgently.

'Don't take revenge'

"I come to you as a mother. Please listen to me," Marta Gonzalez said in Spanish as she passed out fliers calling for peace in the neighborhood. "I have a son, too, just like you. Please, I implore you, don't take revenge. "

Gonzalez said she was a friend of Espinoza's mother and that she was heartbroken when she heard of his killing. She decided to circulate the fliers on her way to work.

"It's the mothers who suffer," said Gonzalez, who said she has two sons, ages 18 and 20. "There's this rivalry between the Latinos who were born here and the kids born (in Mexico and Central America). It's a stupid war. They need to put down the guns and pick up a book and a pencil."

Her flier called on parents to wear white shirts and gather for a peace rally at noon Sunday at 24th and Mission streets.

A few doors down from the shrine, in a darkened upstairs flat, Marta Espinoza sobbed at the death of her son. She was comforted by her sister and other relatives.

"All the family is coming to be together," Espinoza said. She said she couldn't say more. "It's too fresh, too new," she said.

Groups take to streets

Across the Mission, community organizations that work with teenagers - from Instituto Familiar de la Raza to Arriba Juntos - planned an intensive effort to try to interrupt the violence.

"The weekend's coming, and as we speak, outreach workers are out there trying to increase the peace," said Ana Pérez, executive director of the Central American Resource Center. "Community organizers will be walking the streets at night. We'll be taking kids to the movies, making sure they have something peaceful to do."

The slayings were the 70th and 71st in the city this year and the fifth and sixth in the Mission since Aug. 22. No arrests have been made in any of the killings.

In all of 2007 there were 98 homicides, the highest total in San Francisco since 1995.

Alvarez-Rodriguez said Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties has been hit particularly hard by the violence. In the past two years, she said, 10 of its employees and counseling clients have been killed in shootings.

"This is a huge blow," she said. "So many of these young men and women live in neighborhoods where violence is happening. I wish to God it wasn't happening, but this is their home."

Recent Mission District killings

Six people have been shot to death in the Mission District since Aug. 22. No arrests have been made in the killings.

-- Samuel Mitchell, 47, killed Aug. 22 at 26th and Folsom streets.

-- Jorge Hurtado, 18, shot and killed Aug. 24 at Treat Avenue and 23rd Street.

-- Marcelino Canul-Castro, 24, fatally shot Monday at San Carlos and 18th streets.

-- Mark Guardado, 45, president of the San Francisco chapter of the Hells Angels, killed Tuesday near 24th Street and Treat Avenue. Police speculate that a member of a rival motorcycle gang may have been responsible.

-- Noel Espinoza, 19, and Matthew Solomon, 23, killed Thursday night near Espinoza's home on 24th Street at Utah Street.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Two Killed, Three Injured In Mission District Shootings

SF Mission District Erupts In Deadly Violence

UPDATED: 6:29 am PDT September 5, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco police faced another busy evening in the Mission District after two separate shootings left at least two people dead, according to police.

In the first incident, two people were shot while sitting in a vehicle parked in San Francisco with a 4-month-old child that was uninjured, a police spokesman said.

According to Sgt. Wilfred Williams, the man and woman were in the area of 18th and Bryant streets around 6:30 p.m. when they were both shot.

The two were driven to San Francisco General Hospital by friends and were being treated for injuries considered life-threatening. The 4-month-old, who police believe was the child of the two victims, was not injured during the shooting.

Williams said a man was witnessed fleeing the scene in a compact silver vehicle.

"If anybody witnessed, heard or saw anything, they can call our anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444," he said.

Several hours later, a second shooting took place only a few blocks away. this time at the intersection of 24th Street and Utah Street one block from San Francisco General Hospital.

Eyewitness reports indicate that at around 9:45 p.m., three people were shot. Police later confirmed that one person killed at the scene while two other victims sustained injuries and were transported to the nearby hospital. One of the victims then died at the hospital.

Police remained on the scene well into the night questioning witnesses. So far, there is no word from police as to whether these two incidents are related to each other or to the fatal shooting of SF Hells Angel leader Mark "Papa" Guardado that took place Tuesday night only a few blocks from the second shooting Thursday evening.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Robberies Up 10 Percent Over 2007

SFPD Launches Effort To Curb Spike In Robberies

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) ― The head of the San Francisco Police Department's robbery detail said Wednesday police are conducting a multi-pronged effort to head off a spike this year in robberies throughout the city.

Police Lt. William Canning told members of the San Francisco Police Commission Wednesday evening that since February, police have conducted 25 robbery abatement team decoy operations, or RAT ops, in the city's Bayview, Ingleside, Mission, Southern and Tenderloin police districts, resulting in the arrests of 109 robbery suspects.

The actions come as police have seen robberies in San Francisco increase 10 percent through August over the same period last year, including 659 armed robberies with guns, a 35-percent increase, according to police statistics.

The number of robberies in San Francisco in 2008, not including pickpockets, has totaled 3,094 through Aug. 28.

Canning said the rise might be attributed to increased pressure San Francisco police have been putting on gangs in the city, whose members may be turning to robberies as an simpler way to get money, including by nabbing easily visible laptops and iPods.

He said many of the robbery suspect descriptions are of younger males in their late teens and early 20s, whose activity has not been confined to any particular areas of the city.

"They're basically occurring all over," he said.

"The guys who are robbing want money, so they'll basically go where the money is," said Canning.

"They're riding in cars, and, as we call it, going shopping," searching the streets for people to rob, he said.

Canning said robbers have not been targeting San Francisco restaurants and other businesses as in Oakland and other parts of the East Bay, though suspects arrested for a recent series of robberies in San Francisco were from Oakland, he said.

Police are also planning discussions to set up enforcement operations to counter a marked rise in robberies on San Francisco Municipal Railway buses this year, according to Canning.

Other police operations have included increased foot patrols in the downtown Market Street area, and public education programs offering safety tips to residents and businesses, Canning said.

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Also, here's a Chronicle article detailing the rise in robberies in SF as well as in the Bay Area as a whole (Throughout the Bay Area, robberies have risen 40% between 2004 and 2007). It includes some interesting stuff, such as robbery maps for both San Francisco and Oakland, as well as the top 15 hotspots for robberies in each city.

SF Hells Angels Leader Shot Dead In The Mission

Head of Hells Angels in S.F. is shot to death

Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, September 3, 2008
(09-03) 18:03 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- The president of the San Francisco chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club was shot and killed Tuesday night after he lost a fight for his life with a rival on a Mission District street, police said Wednesday.

Mark "Papa" Guardado, 45, was shot at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday near 24th Street and Treat Avenue, about a mile from the group's clubhouse where he lived. He died at San Francisco General Hospital.

Witnesses told investigators that Guardado and the gunman struggled before the shooting.

"They had a wrestling match first," said Lt. Mike Stasko of the San Francisco police homicide detail. Then "the guy shot him, and he got on his motorcycle and left."

Police have made no arrests, but said one avenue they are exploring was that Guardado was fighting with a rival in another motorcycle group. "We're looking at all the options," Stasko said.

An attorney who was defending Guardado in a battery case in Sonoma County said he was "absolutely devastated" by the killing, and that "Mark was a wonderful human being."

"His friends loved him," said the attorney, Patrick Ciocca. "He really was an all-around good guy. There are hundreds, if not thousands of people who are going to miss him dearly."

Members of the Hells Angels at the group's clubhouse on Tennessee Street in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco declined to talk about the killing.

At the street corner where Guardado was shot, across from a bar and a nail salon, there was a makeshift memorial where someone had written in large, black letters, "R.I.P. Papa Frisco."

Nearby, others wrote "never forget" and "we will always love you." Five burned-out candles lay nearby.

Ciocca was unable to say how long Guardado had headed the local chapter. But he stressed that the Hells Angels had been unfairly harassed over the years by authorities who have raided the clubhouse in search of evidence that the group is a criminal enterprise.

"It's outlandish," Ciocca said.

The group's San Francisco chapter - or "Frisco," as its members call it - is the second-oldest Hells Angels club in the country, after Fontana in San Bernardino County. In 2004, it celebrated its 50th anniversary with a party that attracted about a thousand bikers from around the world...

read the entire article here.

Former Firefighter Suspected In Sexual Assaults - Reward In Puppy Killing Increased

- A $500,000 warrant has been issued for Horacio Candia Jr., a former San Francisco firefighter who is suspected of using his badge to commit various violent sexual assaults on women. The latest assault was on August 22nd at 16th and Carolina Streets on the border of Potrero Hill. The victim was able to escape and call police.

- The reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for the kidnapping and stabbing death of a 7 month old Pit Bull named Pogo was increased to $15,000 today. Pogo was being walked at Ocean Beach on July 22nd when he went over a sand dune and disappeared. He was found stabbed to death in a dumpster in the Bayview a week later.

Man Killed In Mission District Shooting



San Francisco police today are investigating the fatal shooting of a man Tuesday night in the Mission District.

Police received a report of a shooting at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of 24th Street and Treat Avenue.

When officers arrived, they found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to police.

Police did not release any information on a suspect in the shooting.

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Man Shot Dead In The Mission



A man was shot and killed in San Francisco's Mission District this morning, police said.

At about 5:15 a.m., officers responded to a report of gunshots in the unit block of San Carlos Street, according to police.

Arriving officers found the victim lying on the ground and suffering multiple gunshot wounds.

He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead, police said.

No arrests have been made and no suspect information was immediately available.

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