The San Francisco Police Department has released a suspect sketch and is offering a $75,000 reward for information to help solve a cold case from 2016 in which a homeless couple was shot and killed.
The double murder happened on a Sunday night before Christmas, on December 16, 2016. An older man who went by the name Tennessee and his girlfriend, whom neighboring campers knew as Lindsay, were shot execution-style while inside the wooden box they were living in along 16th Street near Shotwell. The victims were ultimately identified as 51-year-old Eddie Wayne Tate, and 27-year-old Lindsay Elaine McCollum.
Witnesses said two men approached the shelter where Tate and McCollum were huddled inside. One of the men opened fire before both ran off.
At the time, SFPD investigators said they did not believe the attack was random. But four and a half years later, they have yet to identify a suspect. Now, what was a $50,000 reward has been raised to $75,000 — and this is one of 13 cold cases with rewards attached that the SFPD has outstanding.
The suspect sketch below was made from a witness description.
The murders of Tate and McCollum were particularly disturbing to their unhoused neighbors at 16th and Shotwell. One of them, 47-year-old Sterling Gerard, spoke to the Chronicle at the time, saying this was the second time in three months that someone had been shot outside his tent.
"Two people just got murdered where I sleep," he said. "I hate it out here." He added that the scene was particularly grisly — after Tate was shot inside the wooden structure and McCollum stumbled a bit outside before collapsing nearby.
"They left her and his blood all over the place," Gerard told the Chronicle. "That’s really foul."
Anyone providing information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the murders is eligible for the reward, and they are urged to contact Sergeant Mark Hutchings of the SFPD Homicide Detail at 415-553-7976.
People wishing to remain anonymous may call the SFPD tip line at 415-575-4444 or they can text a tip to TIP411, beginning the text message with SFPD.