San Francisco's homicide count stands at 48 as we enter the waning hours of 2020, marking a slight uptick from the record-low number of killings in the city in 2019, but nearly on par with the count from two years ago.*
With stay-at-home orders that went into effect the first week of December, only two homicides have occurred in San Francisco since late November
In 2019, San Francisco saw its lowest homicide count in 56 years, with 41 people killed.
"One homicide is too many, but the fact that we have had less rather than more is good," said SFPD Deputy Chief David Lazar at the time.
As this year has worn on with many cities seeing upticks in homicides driven by multiple factors, the SFPD has cautioned that last year was likely "an anomaly" and this year was looking fairly normal, as homicide rates go.
"The good news is the numbers this year are still in keeping with the general low numbers over the last five or 10 years," said District Attorney Chesa Boudin, speaking to the Examiner last month. "The bad news is we have lost more lives than necessary."
In 2018, San Francisco saw a nearly identical number of homicides, with 46.
The situation in Oakland has been far more violent, with the city crossing the 100 mark for homicides in early November. The uptick has been attributed to gang violence, and the New York Times had a story in October about how the lack of structure in teenagers' lives, brought on by distance learning and the shutdown of high school sports and after-school programs, has likely contributed to the rise in street violence as well. Last year, Oakland had a total of 78 homicides in 12 months.
And in Vallejo, the city had recorded 29 homicides as of late November, including the officer-involved shooting of Sean Monterossa on June 1. That was already a more than 50% uptick from 2019, and a nearly four-fold increase from 2018, when the city saw only eight homicides all year.
In recent weeks in San Francisco, the death of 68-year-old Zhao Yu in a North Beach apartment has been classified as a homicide. She was found unconscious and not breathing on the 1800 block of Powell Street on December 18, and as KPIX reports, 67-year-old Zucheng Xiao is being held on suspicion of murder.
And today we're learning of a shooting in Hunters Point that occurred Wednesday night, and which has left one man with life-threatening injuries, though he has not died.
Here's hoping SF gets to midnight without another unnecessary death.
Top image of SFPD Chief William Scott by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
*This post was updated with the SFPD's final count of 48 homicides for the year.