A pair of suspects in a shooting that left one man dead and five others wounded last March in the Fillmore District were indicted in federal court Wednesday on charges of being felons in possession of a firearm, and using a firearm in a violent crime that ended in death.
The incident happened on a Saturday evening, March 23, 2019, during the funeral reception at the Fillmore Heritage Center for well known neighborhood character and pimp Ron Newt. During a gun battle that allegedly involved three men, the two suspects are accused of fatally shooting the third man, arguably in self-defense. Federal prosecutors are now focusing on the two suspects' gang ties — they are both said to be members of the notorious Mac Block — and the fact that innocent bystanders were injured in the shootout. The two suspects are 26-year-old Jamare Coats, and 28-year-old Robert Manning.
"An event like this is completely unacceptable,” said FBI special agent John Bennett in a Thursday news conference, per the Examiner. “The streets of San Francisco cannot and will not be used as a playground for gang warfare."
Just days after the shooting occurred, SFist reported that prosecutors would not be seeking murder charges against the suspects, due to the sequence of events that transpired. Victim Mister Dee Carnell Simmons III, 25, of San Leandro was said to have incited the conflict by brandishing a weapon inside the funeral reception, after which Coats and Manning allegedly went outside to a vehicle to retrieve weapons of their own. One suspect, initially identified as Sean Harrison, was alleged to have engaged in a shootout with Simmons, and once Simmons was shot and on the ground and still firing his weapon, Coats allegedly shot him as well.
In the crossfire, a 27-year-old man walking on Fillmore Street was shot in the spine and paralyzed from the waist down. Three other men and one woman also endured lesser injuries.
As the Examiner notes, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California David Anderson "took the opportunity to jab at San Francisco for having sanctuary policies that prohibit cooperation with immigration officials and for suspending participation in the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force." Anderson said at Thursday's press conference that "We are all safer when federal and local law enforcement are allowed to work together."
As KRON 4 reports, the new federal charges carry with them possible death sentences for the two suspects.
"The streets of San Francisco cannot be used as a playground for gang warfare," said #FBI #SanFrancisco SAC John F. Bennett after a federal grand jury indicted Robert Manning and Jamare Coats for their roles in the March 23, 2019, shootout at the Fillmore Heritage Center. pic.twitter.com/DPX8ZbWSzg— FBI SanFrancisco (@FBISanFrancisco) January 9, 2020