A Brentwood family is reeling from a case of mistaken identity in which a staffer at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital called to tell them last week that their family member was fatally shot. But it actually wasn't true.
The homicide case occurred last Monday, June 5, and it appears it may have been this shooting in the Lower Haight, in which it was initially reported that a 25-year-old male was killed.
The Brown family of Brentwood tells NBC Bay Area that they received a call that evening from a woman at Zuckerberg SF General who said, "I’m sorry to inform you that your son has been shot and has passed away."
The woman spoke to father Vannest Brown and mother Janet Brown, referring to their 30-year-old son. They were heartbroken, and began informing other family members. From the sound of it, the family has not had a lot of recent contact with this son.
But Vannest Brown tells NBC Bay Area that before he got in a car to head to the hospital, he called them back, because he had some sneaking feeling like that this wasn't true.
"I said, ‘You never gave me a description. Can you give me a description?’ And she said, ‘Yes, he has dreadlocks.’ I said ‘Stop!’”
The Browns' son doesn't have dreadlocks, they say, and the victim in this shooting was four inches taller than their son as well, and weighed 50 pounds more. Within two hours, the hospital confirmed there had been a mistake.
Adding some confusion to the story, it seems their son must have had some contact with the individual who was shot, because he was carrying the son's ID. And the Browns say they've been unable to reach their son, and calls to his cellphone keep going to voicemail.
Zuckerberg SF General Hospital put out a statement Thursday saying “it was discovered the deceased did not match the identification information in their possession. Staff immediately followed up and verified this misidentification with the emergency contacts."
The hospital added, "We deeply regret the situation and apologize for the impacts to those involved. We remain committed to providing lifesaving care to patients in distress."
There may be more to this case that will be revealed, if and when we learn who the suspect was in the shooting, and what the circumstances may have been.
San Francisco has seen 23 homicides to date this year — a 15-percent uptick over this time last year.