Fernando Madrigal, the 22-year-old Mission District resident who was arrested this week with the help of the FBI in connection with the July 2019 murder of 15-year-old Day’von Hann, was a person well known to the media and the Board of Supervisors.
In the spring of 2019, as a movement gained momentum to shut down San Francisco's Juvenile Hall, Madrigal appeared at a news conference with several SF supervisors pushing for the closure. In a tweet Friday, the Marina Times pointed out the local news footage from April 2019, after a federal complaint alleges that Madrigal is a member of the Mission District Norteños. The killing of Hann, federal investigators say, was a case of mistaken identity — Madrigal and his fellow gang members alleged mistook Hann for a member of a rival gang.
While the connection has not been made clear, it should be noted that Madrigal himself had been shot in the head in the Mission District on June 10, 2019, almost exactly a month before Hann was shot — an injury from which he recovered. A GoFundMe campaign was launched to help with his medical expenses which noted that Madrigal "has spoke at multiple conferences, sharing his personal story as a victim of violence, having been previously shot and stabbed. As a young person who spent most of his teen years incarcerated, Fernando often advocates for effective approaches to serving youth impacted by trauma, and was an instrumental advocate for the closure of SF Juvenile Hall."
According to @TheCoalitionSF, #FernandoMadrigal was a “youth organizer” — they, along with Haney and Ronen, paraded him on the steps of City Hall as the poster child for closing juvenile hall. Now he’s been arrested for the gang-enhanced murder of a 15-year-old. 😖😡 pic.twitter.com/8uji7DDLTN— TheMarinaTimes (@TheMarinaTimes) August 14, 2020
According to the federal complaint unsealed Friday, in the early hours of July 8, 2019, "Madrigal and his fellow gang members shot and killed an individual on the sidewalk of 24th Street in San Francisco, about a block away from the 24th and Mission BART Station. The victim was a 15-year old who was identified from his school ID card."
The exact motive for the shooting of Hann was not shared by investigators, other than to say "the victim had been erroneously identified as a rival gang member."
At a press conference on April 9, 2019, Madrigal spoke in front of City Hall about being incarcerated at Juvenile Hall for robbery when he was 13. "I was locked in my cell for one month straight. One month straight. Thirty minutes out in the morning. Thirty minutes out in the night shift," he said, adding that the experience made him angry and depressed.
In August of last year, the SF Board of Supervisors committed to shutting down the city's Juvenile Hall by the end of 2021, saying that juvenile offenders should no longer face adult-style incarceration.
Photo: Bill Oxford