Husband of slain tourist questions access to guns

April 27, 2011 5:55:18 PM PDT
The husband of a German tourist killed on the streets of San Francisco last summer spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday.

During a press conference at the German consulate on Jackson Street, the Schroer family said they had met with the district attorney and police officials. They were told that authorities are hoping to make an arrest in the near future.

This is the first time Stefan Schroer as been back to San Francisco since last August when he was in the city with his wife, Mechthild Schroer, celebrating their wedding anniversary. During a shootout between rival gang members at a night club on Mason near Geary, a stray bullet hit Mechthild in the head, killing her. Nine months later, there have still been no arrests.

This week, Stefan returned to San Francisco, this time with his two sons. They wanted to see where their mother died and to understand what happened.

"When I came back to Germany, my sons said they wished to come see the place where my wife, and their mother, died," Stefan said. "I think that was the most important point for me to come back to San Francisco, and also to say thank you for the nice people I met on that night."

"We believe that we're getting closer to the point where this case could be [brought to] an arrest," District Attorney George Gascon said. "But, it's still an ongoing investigation and I want to make it very clear. This is an ongoing process."

Last year, as police chief, Gascon said an arrest was imminent. An 18-year-old man was taken into custody but was not charged. On Wednesday, Schroer said he had a good feeling police would make an arrest in the case. He also said it was hard to understand how it is so easy for young people in America to get their hands on weapons, which is not the case in his native Germany. He added that San Francisco is a very special city and said he plans to return again.

A private memorial was held Wednesday for Mechthild Schroer.

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