“We had a busy week and a bad week in terms of homicides,” SFPD Chief Bill Scott said Wednesday, as this year’s low San Francisco murder rate has suddenly skewed upward.
We may have spoken a little too soon this week when pointing out that the San Francisco homicide rate was on track for a historic low in 2019. Just a few murders could jolt that rate up, and regrettably, this is precisely what has happened over the last few days. The Examiner reports that three people were shot in a span of less than 48 hours this week, which brings the city’s 2019 homicide total to 20 — the Examiner puts the number at 23, which would be just about what it was last year at this time, but this map only counts 18 so far plus the latest two. Worse yet, one of the victims was just 15 years old.
The most recent killing was Tuesday night at around 11 p.m., as NBC Bay Area reports a fatal shooting near the United Council of Human Services, a homeless shelter in the Bayview. The victim was 44-year-old Eric Wilson, a client of the shelter, and another 35-year-old man who has not been identified was also shot. The suspect is described by NBC Bay Area simply as “a male driving a sedan-type vehicle.”
Day'von Hann, gunned down in the Mission on Monday, is just the latest black child robbed of his life — and robbed of his youth and even the pretense of innocence. https://t.co/7XncBNEDdW— Mission Local (@MLNow) July 10, 2019
The most heartbreaking homicide of the bunch was the early Monday morning shooting of 15-year-old Day’von Hann just outside the 24th Street Mission BART station. Mission Local covered the heck out of this as it unfolded Monday and Tuesday. But their coverage may be more noteworthy because of its response; an outbreak of vitriol in the site’s comment section decrying that a 15-year-old murder victim was described as a “child.” Commenters galore chimed in complaining that a kid at age 15 should not have been described as a “child” (“Fif – TEEN. He was a TEEN. A child is 12 or younger.”), in a troll-infested, probably racist discussion that’s continued on social media all week.
“No ‘child’ is hanging out at the 24th street BART station after midnight.”— Vivian Ho (@VivianHo) July 10, 2019
“Stating that a child was killed connotes an innocent bystander.”
People are awful. Props to @MLNow and @EskSF for speaking truth. https://t.co/vrz9KEGCYI
And we have not yet even gotten to the first of these three homicides, the early Sunday morning shooting of 20-year-old Richard Ponce. The Examiner reports he was shot at 12:45 a.m. near the Whole Foods at 4th and Harrison Streets, in what sounds like an attempted mugging.
These three murders could just be a coincidental blip, but the first two weeks of July have been significantly deadlier than any other phase of the year thus far. As of June 30, San Francisco had only 17 homicides in all of 2019. In the 11 days since, we’ve had nine. That’s quite an uptick, and all three of this week’s murder suspects remain at large, as is the Tanforan mall shooting suspect.