Man accused of shooting, killing San Francisco security guard pleads not guilty

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The man accused of shooting and killing an unarmed security guard in San Francisco, 24-year-old Cardell Mason Coleman, pleaded not guilty to the crime Tuesday.

Security guard Rolando Romero was 61 years old and working in San Francisco to send money to his family in the Philippines.

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San Francisco Police Officers Association Sgt. At Arms, Sgt. Tracy McCray, hugged the victim's sister, Lynne Romero Cruz, outside the courtroom.

"This is one of the more heinous acts of violence against someone, wasn't expected, no pre-warning, nothing... and all of a sudden, you know, he lost his life just doing his job," said Sgt. McCray.

Romero was Facetiming with his wife in the Philippines last Monday just before 5:30 a.m. at Fitzgerald Avenue and Arelious Walker Drive when San Francisco police say Coleman shot and killed him.

"It's devastating to me as a parent, you know what I'm saying, as a single father and I raised him right," said Coleman's father, Cardell Coleman Sr.

Coleman says his son was visiting him in the neighborhood where the crime occurred.

Police arrested Coleman less than 24 hours later, just before 1 a.m. last Tuesday.

"He came running back in the building, Dad, Dad, Dad and four or five police were behind him with guns and stuff," said Coleman Sr.

Sgt. McCray says surveillance video was instrumental in making the arrest.

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"Technology, thank God for it," said Sgt. McCray.

Police have not said what the surveillance video shows.

"My condolences to the family," said Coleman Sr.

The victim's sister, who is here from New York, said she was too upset to speak about the case Tuesday. Last week, she sat down with ABC7 News.

"I am so grateful to these people, to all the policemen of the San Francisco, this is what I want... justice," said Lynn Romero Cruz after Coleman's arrest last week.

"I feel her pain and her hurt and no one should have to go through that," said Sgt. McCray.

The San Francisco Police Officers Association donated $1,000 to a GoFundMe page set up by the family so they can bring Romero's body home to his family in the Philippines to be buried.

Donate to the GoFundMe page to raise money to bring Romero's body back to the Philippines for burial.

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