Community remembers San Francisco security guard killed trying to protect Japantown mall

"He may very well have stopped a greater tragedy," said Gavin's sister Carla Seawright.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Community remembers SF security guard killed at Japantown mall
Community is mourning the death of San Francisco security guard Gavin Boston, who was killed earlier this month outside the Japan Center Mall.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On Tuesday, San Francisco's Japantown and Western Addition communities mourned for security guard Gavin Boston who was killed earlier this month outside the Japan Center Mall.

Police arrested two teens who they believe are to blame for the crime.

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Boston's brother Jonathan was in tears at the memorial. Gavin was a security guard in Japantown who was killed doing his job and trying to keep the people at the mall safe.

"We were told that it was in fact my brother who was shot and killed. It's just starting to sink in that he's gone," said Jonathan Boston.

Gavin was 40 years old. Two teenage boys, 14 and 15, were both arrested in connection to the killing that came as Boston escorted one of them out of the mall. Surveillance pictures show those moments before the gunfire. The second teen is not seen in the photos.

RELATED: Security guard shot, killed in San Francisco's Japantown; 2 teens arrested, police say

Two teenage boys were arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting a security guard in San Francisco's Japantown on Wednesday evening, police said.

Tuesday night it was about a community coming together.

"We pray for his eternal peace and happiness," said one woman.

"I want to acknowledge to Gavin Boston's family, there's nothing we can say to bring him back. I am so so sorry," said Shakirah Simley of the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center.

Family members say Gavin Boston spent seven minutes inside the mall area talking with a young man before escorting him outside where at least one shot was fired. Candles are still lit in his memory and a note that says, 'Gavin you saved our community! Rest in peace.'

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"He may very well have stopped a greater tragedy," said Gavin's sister Carla Seawright.

Seawright says that while some have called for justice in the form of jail time, that's not what most of her family is looking for.

"My brother would want for this young man, he's only 15, he would want him to get all of the help he needs to be able to move forward from this and be a productive and kind and a compassionate good person," said Seawright.

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Most of those who spoke here addressed the issue of guns in the community, with a hope that more can be done going forward.

"The 2nd Amendment, it's important what it doesn't say, it doesn't say hand out guns to your kids and it doesn't say hand out guns to people who are mentally unstable," said Jonathan Boston.

Family members are thankful for all of the community support in wake of Gavin's killing.

"Again this is amazing, we do appreciate it, and he deserved it," said Boston.

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