Excelsior District sees increase in murders


The city's 62nd homicide happened Tuesday night in the Western Addition, a district that once had one of the highest murder rates. However, a gang injunction and a police strategy of targeting crimes here has brought relative peace to the neighborhood.

Now the once quiet Excelsior District is experiencing a wave of street murders; eight have occurred in the past 120 days.

Community leaders in the Excelsior are blaming a gang injunction in the neighboring Mission District as the cause.

"Really, all that's done is push a lot of that gang activity into the Excelsior," said Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval, who together with merchants and residents Tuesday, pleaded with police to do more to quell the violence.

Among those in attendance were families of young murder victims who brought reward posters to remind the public that their killers have not been caught. Victims of other crimes also attended.

"Last year, I got mugged," said Alejandrina Martinez whose shoe store window was hit last week by a stray bullet from a street shooting.

Jeff Rocca is a longtime resident whose business office was recently robbed at gunpoint. He wishes there were more foot patrols.

"I like all our police up and down here, but we don't seem to be getting a response from the brass," said Rocca.

The brass, meaning Police Chief Heather Fong, who was supposed to attend this event. Rocca echoed the sentiments of many who were disappointed.

"Obviously, she must have something more important to do than listen to our community," said Rocca.

About a half-hour after the gathering ended, Chief Fong suddenly showed up. Many had already left. Chief Fong bristled at the criticism that she wasn't doing enough for the Excelsior.

"I am committed to this community just as all the officers in our department are," said Chief Fong.

Chief Fong says she has beefed up the number and frequency of beat officers there and added members of narcotics, the motorcycle unit and gang task force.

A police source tells ABC7 that Cheif Fong was late because she was attending a funeral of a retired police lieutenant .

Copyright © 2024 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.