Woman sought in fatal stabbing of S.F. man
Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, January 1, 2009
(12-31) 16:26 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco police are searching for a woman who they say fatally stabbed an 18-year-old man during a domestic incident in a violence-scarred public housing development in the Western Addition.
The killing of Lazarus "Buddy" Pickett on Tuesday marked San Francisco's 99th homicide of 2008, one more than last year and the most since 1995, when there were 100 killings. This year's count includes one case - the discovery of a body at Ocean Beach - that is being investigated by the U.S. Park Service police rather than San Francisco police.
Authorities did not identify the suspect in the latest homicide or provide details in what they described as a case of domestic violence. But several neighbors in the Plaza East housing complex said authorities were looking for 27-year-old DeEbony Smith, with whom Pickett had a baby daughter.
The neighbors said Smith lives in an apartment in Plaza East with her mother and three children. They said the fathers of the other two children had also died in recent years, one in a shooting and the other in a car wreck.
According to police, the stabbing was reported at 10 a.m. Tuesday on Larch Way, a one-block corridor that doubles as a parking lot for Plaza East residents. Pickett was taken by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:18 p.m.
On Wednesday, a small memorial of balloons, stuffed animals, red roses, candles and liquor bottles lay where Pickett had fallen in the street. In the early afternoon, a woman who identified herself as the young man's aunt cried outside a nearby unit and said she wasn't ready to talk about what happened.
Outreach workers from the city-funded Community Response Network - which tries to quell violence and retaliation - spoke to residents. Police cars drove by often.
Plaza East has frequently been the scene of violent incidents in recent years, prompting city officials to install surveillance cameras there and to obtain a court injunction against a gang that allegedly operates out of the complex. The injunction limits the movements of some gang-member suspects.
Neighborhood resident Rochelle Terrell, 50, clutched a picture of her cousin, Savannah Jackson, who died Dec. 30, 2006 - two years before Pickett. Jackson was one of three people shot and killed as they sat in a parked car in Bayview-Hunters Point.
"It seems like every year we have to bring in the year with grief and loss," Terrell said. "It's too much."