SF gun violence problem highlighted in wedding day attempted robbery

SFPD announced a disturbing trend -- an increase in gun violence victims to levels we haven't seen since 2016.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco police announced a disturbing trend on Wednesday, an increase in gun violence victims to levels we haven't seen since 2016. The announcement comes just days after a couple and their wedding photographer were the victims of an attempted robbery on their wedding day.

The newlyweds, who wanted to be proud of their wedding and share photos with family members who couldn't be there due to COVID-19, are now terrified to show their faces captured on their special day.

"It's very disappointing," said the victim, who asked ABC7 News not to reveal their identity after someone jumped out of a car and attempted to rob their wedding photographer of his camera at California and Powell streets.

They added, "It just all happened so quickly."

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During the altercation, photographer Ken Mendoza says he held onto the camera since the couple's photos weren't backed up yet and because he had another camera previously stolen.

"Looking back I realize the danger," he said. "Definitely my life was at risk."

Mendoza and the couple ran and hid in a nearby parking garage.

"We blame the criminal, obviously, but I feel London Breed and Chesa Boudin are equally to blame as far as I'm concerned," the victim said. "They were standing right there watching it all happen because the city has just gone to a horrible place."

On Wednesday, the mayor and Police Chief William Scott announced the city's 2021 crime statistics.

"Nothing is more important than to make sure that people who live in this city, people who work in this city, people who visit San Francisco, feel safe as they walk down the streets," said Breed.

Homicides are up, as are gun violence victims, which includes fatal and non-fatal incidents.

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"That's as high as we've been since 2016," said Scott.

San Francisco police confirm one of the suspects in Mendoza's attempted robbery reportedly had a gun.

"To imagine that that day one of us could have woken up as a groom and ended up as a widower is just beyond belief," said the victim.

Robberies are slightly down while aggravated assaults are up.

"It's something that we have to turn around and on the investigative side we have to do more in our investigations to solve more of these cases," said Scott.

The police chief and mayor emphasized the need for funding for officers.

Something Mendoza wants as well.

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"More police presence in some of these really iconic areas is really important," he said.

The couple says they feel forever bonded, having shared the happiest and possibly scariest moment of their lives with Mendoza.

"I think of him as my hero for that day," said the victim.

In other crime stats announced Wednesday, rape cases are slightly down as are burglaries. Larceny/theft which includes thefts from vehicles are up. Car break-ins are also up while auto thefts are slightly down.

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