A woman who police say was shot by her boyfriend, who then killed himself just hours after he was released from San Francisco County Jail has died in the city's 30th homicide of 2014.
35-year-old Cecilia Lam died at San Francisco General Hospital on Tuesday, four days after she was shot in the torso by her boyfriend, 29-year-old Cedric Young Jr.
As previously reported, San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Officer Gordon Shyy says that the story began at around 8:30 p.m. on the evening of Thursday, October 9. That's when SFPD got a call regarding a disturbance at the front door of Lam's home on the 500 block of Natoma Street, which is between 6th and 7th Streets. However, officers weren't dispatched, because "it appears the disturbance was abated while the reporting party was on the phone with the call taker," Shyy says.
Another call was made at around 9:15 p.m., this one saying that Young was "causing a disturbance ringing the doorbell to the building," Shyy says. When police arrived, they spoke with Young and Lam, decided that no laws were being broken, and told Young to leave.
Police were called back at 10, where they found Young ringing the bell yet again. This time, they decided Young "met the elements of a crime for public intoxication," arrested him, and booked him into County Jail.
Shyy says that Young was released from San Francisco County Jail a few hours later — according to the Chron, a hold for intoxication usually only lasts around four hours — and police were called to Lam's again at 4 a.m. Friday morning, when the Young was, yet again, ringing the doorbell at the building. When police arrived, Young told them that he needed to retrieve some of his belongings.
"The police officers remained at the scene and conducted a civil standby to make sure both parties remained peaceful. Both parties agreed he would leave, and officers watched the suspect leave the apartment," Shyy says.
Then, at 5 a.m., Young returned, forced his way into the building, shot Lam and himself, Shyy says. Lam was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, and died of her injuries Tuesday, the Chron reports.
According to Shyy, Young had also been arrested for domestic violence in 2012, but charges were dismissed after his three alleged victims refused to participate in his prosecution.
The Chron reports that Beverly Upton, the executive director of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, is concerned about how police handled the incidents leading up to Lam's death, but that she's still waiting before drawing any conclusions.
“We’re very concerned that perhaps this was preventable, and we look forward to a full discussion and investigation,” Upton said.