Second suspect arrested after fatal Castro shooting

June 27, 2010 8:01:05 PM PDT
Tens of thousands of people hit the streets of San Francisco over the weekend to celebrate gay pride, but the festivities are being overshadowed in part by violence.

Three people were shot late Saturday night in the Castro District in front of countless witnesses during the packed Pink Saturday celebration. One of those victims, a 19-year-old man, died Sunday.

On Sunday afternoon, a second suspect was arrested. The first suspect was a 19-year-old man who was picked up immediately after the shooting. ABC7 sources say police the shooting was gang-related. Police searched the Bayview District Sunday for suspects thought to be responsible for Saturday night's mayhem.

Things in the Castro went from a party to a police investigation. The festivities were followed by chaos when gunshots scattered people on Market Street from the Pottery Barn to the Chevron station.

"Bodies hit the ground. The crowd started running away from the activity where they could see the people that had fallen on the ground," recalled convenience store clerk Patrick McCurdy.

Another witness said the violence did not stop there.

"People started throwing bottle right after it happened," he said. "You got some girl that got shot over here. Her friend that was holding her after she got shot got hit in the face with a bottle."

19-year-old shooting victim Stephen Powell died later at a hospital. A 19-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man were shot in the leg and survived.

Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who represents the Castro, was at the hospital overnight with the victims. He says it appears that the young man who died was the intended target of the shooting.

"It's not random, and the other two individuals both sustained leg wounds. Neither of them knew the victim nor the suspect who was apprehended. So, they were bystanders," he said.

Witnesses suggest the shooting was the culmination of a fight that started sometime earlier.

"I saw some guys down the block. One guy was complaining he got jumped or something, then got his stuff stolen. Then, he got all his buddies and they started coming back over to the Chevron," a witness said.

The shooting occurred during Pink Saturday, a street party held before the Pride Parade. It follows the shooting Halloween night 2006, when nine people were wounded in the Castro. Police later clamped down on that event, moving the festivities to AT&T Park.

Inspectors plan to review surveillance video from the Chevron station to see if it reveals any evidence. Supervisor Dufty will be meeting with police next week.

"Sadly, when there is someone with a gun who has criminal intent, it's really really hard to try and undo it, but we will evaluate everything as it related to this event," he told ABC7.

There will also be discussions regarding what, if any, changes to security need to be made in light of the incident. Dufty said he does not believe the victim or the shooter are in any way connected to the gay community. ABC7 sources also say it appears that the suspects are gang members or at least gang-related, and from the Bayview District in San Francisco.


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