71-year-old Edward French was an avid photographer and longtime resident of the Bay Area, and he was just a half mile up the hill from his Eureka Valley home Sunday morning when he was robbed of his camera and fatally shot at the Twin Peaks lookout. SFist reported on the shooting yesterday, and learned via a commenter who is French's neighbor that the motive appeared to be a robbery.
Now we learn via ABC 7 that French was well known in the Bay Area film community as a location scout and manager, and he may even have been working Sunday morning when he was killed. French had his hand in most of the many car commercials that are shot around the Bay Area, including around Twin Peaks, and as his friend, special effects specialist Sean House tells ABC 7, he was among the best location managers around.
"He could talk to anybody," House says. "A location manager has to walk up to a house because the director likes the look of the house. Knock on the front door, and say to the residents, 'Hey can we bring 60 people and film in here?' and get them to say yes."
French's downstairs neighbor, likely the same one who commented here yesterday, 29-year-old Andrew Hutcheson, tells the Chronicle, "He was a really decent guy. Knowing him, he would have put up a struggle. I could see him denying a person trying to take his stuff."
A jogger whom emergency responders found administering CPR when they arrived at the scene Sunday tells police that he saw two assailants running off with French's camera after hearing the single gunshot. One was a black male in his early 20s with shoulder-length dreadlocks, and the other was a black female about 5 feet 3 inches tall in her late teens. They fled in a dark gray Honda Accord with rear-end damage, according to SFPD spokesperson Officer Robert Rueca.
Per the Examiner, Rueca says that there are surveillance cameras in the vicinity, however he did not reveal whether there was footage of the incident.
This was the second murder at the popular tourist destination in just over a year, following a double-homicide there on Valentine's Day in 2016.
The SFPD now says they are putting a 24-hour unit in place at Twin Peaks as a precaution.