BAYVIEW POLICE STATION 201 WILLIAMS AVE S.F. 94124 (415) 671-2300
Captain Greg Suhr
April 22, 2011
Incidents of Interest:
WHAT A WEEK!
On April 16 th at 1:00 AM, Officers McNichol and Bartley were patrolling in the area of Newhall and Lasalle when they heard several gunshots right around the corner. The officers immediately set out for the location and, upon arrival, decided to approach on foot. As soon as they walked onto LaSalle, a frantic man ran towards them pointing at another man across the street, yelling that that man had just shot at him. The officers looked across the street and saw the suspect in question. The suspect, looking quite startled at the pair officers appearing essentially out of nowhere, took off running - holding his front waistband. If you've been a subscriber to this webmail for very long, I'm sure you know what "running while holding the waistband" means. If you're new to this newsletter group, keep reading and it'll become clearer plus you'll know for next time..... Anyway, the officers chased the suspect on foot down LaSalle Ave. Mid-1700 block of LaSalle, the suspect ducked into the driveway and attempted to conceal himself. C'mon though, these are Bayview cops! They saw him duck into that driveway; so they approached cautiously, ordering him to surrender. As soon as they got close, he darted out and continued his flight toward Phelps St. Thinking that surrender would have been too easy, the officers continued their foot pursuit. When the suspect approached the corner of LaSalle and Phelps, the officers observed him suddenly stop and hunch over - hmmmm? The reason for the pause became clear when he tossed an object (perhaps the object form his waistband one wonders) over a fence and into the SF Water Treatment Plant. A moment of listening in silence and....the officers heard a distinctive metal “clunk” as the object hit the wall of the treatment plant on the other side of the fence. As this exact moment, the suspect stopped his furious sprint and began a casual stroll which allowed the officers to catch up. Not knowing if he was armed further, the officers ordered him to the ground. He begrudgingly complied while insisting that he had not done anything. Really??? Then why the protracted flight? A check of where the object went "kerplunk" and - say it's not so - yes, that was a
gun that he threw over the fence. With an assist from SFFD and their ladder the officers scooped up the discarded .22 caliber revolver. Meanwhile, as this was going on, the victim who approached the initial officers and pointed out the suspect, had left the scene and walked over to 3 rd St. Initially, he had not known that he had been hit by the gunfire and upon realizing that he was bleeding from his neck, went to get help. Officers Alvarenga, Wong, and Hargreaves located him and had him transported to SFGH were he is listed in stable condition.
So, after all this, what was the story? OK, OK - according to the hospital interview with the victim, it all went down like this:
The suspect, an acquaintance of the victim, saw him in the area and asked if he wanted to play a game of “street dice”. The victim agreed and by the end of the game the victim had won $200 from the suspect. As the victim walked away, the suspect followed him and told him to give the money back. Talk about a sore loser. The victim refused, telling the suspect that he won it fair and square and that’s all there was to it. The suspect, taking being a sore loser to a whole new level, was not satisfied with this answer and pulled out a gun. The victim grabbed for the weapon and in the struggle, the suspect fired off several shots - one of which apparently hit the victim. The victim eventually broke the suspect's grip on the weapon and had just begun to run away when he saw the officers rounding the corner at the same time. Talk about "Johnnies on the spot"! The suspect, on parole for prior conviction for robbery, was booked at Bayview on numerous felony charges as well as a parole violation. As he will not be out any time soon; his dice games for the foreseeable future will be played indoors.
On April 18 th at 9:25 PM, the Shot Spotter (ballistic sound recognition system) pinpointed several shots fired in the area of Westpoint and Middlepoint Roads. Sgt. Yin, who happened to be around the corner when the activation was announced immediately headed to the area. He arrived to a state of
pandemonium. People were running around screaming, there were a bunch of .45 caliber bullet casings on the ground, and an 18 year old male was holding his leg proclaiming that he had been shot. He was immediately transported to the hospital where he explained what happened to the officers who escorted him.
The victim and a friend were walking toward the victim’s home on the unit block of Middlepoint when he saw a vehicle drive into the area from the direction of Evans Street. As the vehicle drove past them, a rear seat passenger leaning towards the driver’s seat, stuck a pistol out of the driver’s open window and began to fire on the victim and his friend. Upon seeing the flash of the muzzle, they both ran and dove for cover. The victim received a gun shot wound to one of his calves. His friend, luckily, was not hit. The suspect vehicle continued in the direction of Harbor Road.
As officers were hearing the tale, other officers were securing the scene of the crime and locating witnesses who were able to give an excellent description of the vehicle and suspects. All of this information was broadcast to all of the units in the area. The Bayview Plainclothes Team was all over this one, as they usually are, when gunfire and gang activity is involved. Since this shooting occurred in a particular gang’s territory, the plainclothes officers intuitively responded to the turf of the rival gang in search of the car and suspects. Bayview Housing Officers, not shy of training and experience in gang violence themselves, narrowed it down to a particular bock/street: the unit block of Harbor
Guess what was parked on the unit block of Harbor Road. BINGO!!! the suspect vehicle!
The car was empty of any occupants but when the officers touched the hood, they found it was still hot, meaning that it had been parked just recently (trade secret, shhhh - don’t tell anyone please). Anyway, the plainclothes cops knew of a particular house on that same block to be a hangout used by members of the gang that they suspected to be responsible for shooting. They wasted no time in checking it out. Officers Lyons and Kirchner went to the front door while Officers Hunt and Dunne secured the rear of the address (can never be too careful).
Officer Lyons heard screaming from inside the residence at which point he pounded at the door and identified himself as police. A frantic woman opened the door and ran out, yelling that several men had just broke into her house and begged the officers to get them out.
No problem. Happy to assist a lady in distress. Without hesitation (remember these gang members were suspected of just trying to kill two people), all four officers made entry into the house. After searching the main level and finding no one, they figured the suspects had to be on the second floor above them. When searching buildings, it is an extremely dangerous situation when the cops don’t know the location of a suspect but the suspects know exactly where the officers are....and narrow stairways are involved. Add in multiple suspects that are cornered and very likely armed and we've got a situation where the level of danger is through the roof! In this particular case, there happened to be three suspects holed up in those bedrooms upstairs.
The officers thought they'd ask nicely first, before walking the gauntlet; so they shouted orders for the suspects to surrender. The smartest in the bunch walked down the stairs with his hands up where he was taken into custody. One down.... and up the stairs for the rest they went....feel your heart beating? Imagine the hearts of the officers. A search of the upstairs revealed the other two suspects in one of the bedrooms. They were taken into custody without a problem. One of the subjects had the keys to the vehicle involved in his jacket pocket. The .45 caliber handgun was located stuffed behind a couch along with a pair of gloves and a bat. The three suspects, all known gang members with violent criminal records involving weapons, were arrested and booked in connection with the shooting. The cops, they all went home to their families at the end of watch safely.
(SFPD Case # 110316604)
On April 19 th at 7:00 PM, Officers Mora and Gummo were patrolling on Keith St. approaching Quesada. Suddenly, 3-4 gunshots rang out from 3 rd St. The officers were only a block away and immediately responded. In doing so, they saw a vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed north on 3 rd St., away from the gunfire. They broadcasted the information and fell in line behind the fleeing vehicle and attempted to pull it over. Not a chance! The vehicle tried to lose the officers by making a sharp right onto Quesada....puleeze - not fast enough! The officers rounded the corner just in time to see one of the occupants toss a gun out of the car mid-1700 block of Quesada. I guess all the adrenaline was the reason that the driver hadn't thought his getaway path through - everyone (at least everyone at Bayview) knows that the 1700 block of Quesada is a dead end - NICE! .
Having no other option, the suspect vehicle was forced to stop at the dead end. It’s two occupants surrendered. One suspect insisted that the cops got it all wrong as he and his friend were the actual victims who were shot at and not the suspects that were doing the shooting. Pointing to their rear window that was shattered (and it was) as proof of his claim. Could this revelation be the case?
Time would tell - as it turned out, a very short amount of time would tell.
The officers located the discarded .357 caliber revolver where they had observed the suspect(s) discard it and bagged the suspects’ hands to conduct a gun shot residue test. As all this was going on, other officers were already on scene on 3rd St. where the initial shots rang out looking for any possible victims. Near Revere St., they found a broken radio and a shoe in the street. You might wonder what the significance of these items might be...several witnesses stated that the items belonged to the victim of the shooting who had walked away (albeit with one shoe) and was picked up by a car full of friends down the block. Also found in the same spot was some broken windshield glass and a pick ax (a pick ax can break a car windshield and much, much more, but one should never bring a pick ax to a gun fight..... just sayin’).
Now.....where would one take one's friend if he had a gunshot wound??? Did you say SFGH? I bet you did! And these guys were thinking along the exact same lines.
The officers got a good description of the vehicle as well as a partial license plate number. The Mission District, always helpful and cut form the same cloth as Bayview coppers, had several units respond to the hospital where they located the car, as described, in the emergency room parking lot. They also found the victim who was getting treated for a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his leg. His friends were there as well; all of whom were identified as gang members from the Mission, none of whom were very cooperative with responding officers regarding what had occurred.
Back to the two suspects detained in the Bayview. It turns out that one of them was on active probation from a prior conviction involving a gun. Both were arrested and booked for numerous weapons, conspiracy, and assault charges.
Incidentally, during a follow up interview with Inspectors, one of the suspects also confessed to being the gunman in the March 20th nightclub shooting on the 2400 block of San Bruno that sent two people to the hospital. The Gang Task Force will be following up this investigation. They'll get it all sorted out.
(SFPD Case # 110319288)