It's been a violent year in San Francisco, and we're not even through January. Tuesday afternoon saw our eighth and ninth homicides for 2015, as a mother of three and a 38-year-old man are dead in shootings that are quite likely related.
The San Francisco Police Department's ShotSpotter system sent an alert of at least 19 shots fired at 4:15 Tuesday afternoon, which directed police to the area of Ingalls Street and Revere Avenue, SFPD spokesperson Officer Grace Gatpandan says. When officers arrived, they discovered a woman in her 30s lying on the sidewalk, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
Officers performed CPR until an ambulance arrived, and she was transported to San Francisco General. She died of her injuries at the hospital.
KTVU reports that witnesses saw two cars "racing through the area engaged in a gun battle," and that they believed the woman was an innocent bystander.
“She got caught up in the crossfire of other people's stupidity,” a neighbor said of the victim, who was reportedly named Lourdes and worked at a sandwich-maker at San Francisco International Airport.
Lourdes, KTVU reports, was standing in front of her home when she was struck, as "her three children looked on."
According to the Chron, violence of this type is unusual in this neighborhood.
“This is a working-class neighborhood full of elderly folk and working families,” a neighbor told the Chron. “This is just sad.”
Moments after the report of the first shooting, at 4:24 p.m., police were called to The Old Clam House, which is at 299 Bayshore Boulevard. The Chron reports that a "blood-covered" woman stumbled into the restaurant, asking for help, after arriving in a black Acura SUV "with at least a half dozen bullet holes in the driver’s side door and windshield."
In the SUV's passenger seat was a 38-year-old San Francisco man, who has yet to be publicly identified.
"She said her arm hurts, her arm hurts and someone is dead in the car," an Old Clam House staffer told KTVU.
The woman was incorrect, for the moment — the man was still clinging to life when emergency responders arrived to take them both to SF General. The male victim succumbed to his injures at the hospital, Gatpandan says. The female victim is recovering, Gatpandan says as of Wednesday morning, and she's no longer in life-threatening condition.
According to ABC7, the man who died was "an identified gang member."
OK, so let's get real: we're all intelligent people here. But none of us need to be Sherlock Holmes to think, hmm, cars are seen in gun battle, then a car with a mortally wounded man shows up nearby a few minutes later? Surely they're connected. Right?
Not so fast, says Gatpandan. "At this time we are treating these two crime scenes individually, with two separate teams from Homicide," she says. That said, "we are not ruling out the possibility these two scenes are related."
"However that nexus may/will be determined at a later time."
Also under investigation is any possible connection to the many homicides we've seen in San Francisco earlier this year, especially the quadruple homicide in Hayes Valley on January 9.
“It doesn’t make any sense, especially after those four boys got shot (near Hayes Valley),” one of Lourdes' neighbors told the Chron. “It just makes me think, 'What’s going on?’”
SFPD is asking the same question, and hopes that if you know what's going on with these or the seven other homicides San Francisco has seen so far this year, you'll contact their Anonymous Tip Line at 415-575-4444 or use their Anonymous Text a Tip to TIP411 with SFPD at the beginning of the message.