When Carlos Vargas was struck by at least three bullets on a Mission District in October 28, 2000, it seemed like a miracle that he survived. But his fate was apparently delayed, not deferred, as he died this January in what SFPD are describing as the city's fifth homicide of 2014.
It was 12:15 PM on October 28, 2000, when a 20-year-old Carlos Vargas was gunned down on 20th Street between Lexington and San Carlos streets. According to SFPD spokesperson Officer Gordon Shyy, after the shooting Vargas couldn't use his arms or legs, and spent the following 13-plus years in a San Leandro care facility.
When Vargas died this January at the age of 33, the coroner said his cause of death was clear: "sequelae of multiple bullet wounds."
Shyy told the Ex that because of this cause of death, the shooting is now considered as of Monday to be an unsolved homicide, San Francisco's fifth for 2014.
Homicide statistics can be a funny thing, as then-SFPD-spokesperson Lt. Troy Dangerfield explained to this reporter in 2011. “It can be confusing. The numbers can change, and people are asking us ‘why’.” But, as local police departments are expected to follow standards set by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting, we'll occasionally see a situation like the one.
Two of San Francisco's other homicides for 2014 have been solved. Paul Lambert's slaying by a driver speeding down Van Ness has suspect Mageb Hussain facing felony vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run charges. Another homicide is believed to be a mother-daughter murder-suicide.
Police continue to seek leads in both Eddie Ord's homicide Monday night and Jose Manuel Puc-Muy's January stabbing on Market Street.