34-year-old Dietrich Whitley was fatally shot Saturday outside the Oakdale housing project in Hunters Point, marking the 24th homicide in San Francisco. Eight of those killings have happened in Bayview/Hunters Point, and Supervisor Shamann Walton says he wishes the city could do more to prevent more violent deaths in his district.
"We need to do a better job of finding opportunities for young people," Walton tells Bay City News. "That’s one of the things I’m going to be working hard to do."
Walton also introduced a resolution before the Board of Supervisors that would create "a comprehensive plan to end killings and violence through improved resources and better communication between city agencies and community groups," per BCN.
As the Examiner reports, 38-year-old Sauntek Harris of Concord was arrested this week on suspicion of homicide in connection with Whitley's death, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He's been booked into County Jail in San Francisco.
Even with the eight homicides in Bayview/Hunters Point — including a homeless man, Eric Wilson, who was fatally shot while having a cigarette outside a Bayview shelter on July 9 — the city is set to potentially see another historically low homicide count this year. And indeed, we went 32 days without a murder, as Bay City News reports, between Wilson's death and Whitley's on August 10.
Speaking about homicide rates is bizarre and not always informative given the fact that the circumstances and motives that lead to murders are so varied. But the statistics themselves can tell a story about where overall trends in violent crime are going. In all of 2018, there were 46 homicides in SF. At the current rate, as of this week, the city remains on track for less than 38. That would be the lowest number since 1963, when there were 44. Fingers crossed.