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

Lyanne Melendez Image
Friday, January 6, 2023
Security guard fatally shot in SF's Japantown; 2 teens arrested
Two teenage boys were arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting a security guard in San Francisco's Japantown on Wednesday evening, police said.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Police in San Francisco have identified the security guard who was allegedly shot and killed by two teenage boys in Japantown last night. Forty-year-old Gavin Boston of San Francisco died at the scene just outside the Japan Center Mall.

Merchants of the Kinokuniya Mall placed flowers where security guard Gavin Boston was killed last night.

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ABC7 News obtained surveillance pictures of Boston and one of the teens being escorted out of the mall. The second teen is not shown in these pictures.

Grace Horikiri of the Japantown Community Benefit District saw exterior surveillance video which shows the moment Boston was shot.

"Escorting a young man out the door and then we saw what looked like one gunfire taking place," she explained in detail.

Police were able to to arrest the teens. One is 14 and the other 15 years old. Captain Derrick Jackson and his team came to talk to vendors.

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"I don't know what the motive was at this time maybe some of those details will come out with the investigation," said Jackson.

So far there is no reason to believe this was any kind of hate crime. But how do you explain that two young men, children really, have been arrested for murder and accessory to murder?

Reverend Amos Brown of the San Francisco NAACP believes their community failed the teens.

"Someone was not disciplined, trained, exposed and given guidance," expressed Rev. Brown.

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A member of the Street Violence Intervention Program believes social media is somewhat responsible for promoting this type of violence.

"So they see a lot of things promoted on social media which is hard to control and part of it is gun violence," expressed Tau Elisaia of the Street Violence Intervention Program.

The security guard started working at the mall just last Nov.

"What I heard was he was one of the best security guards that anybody has even had from the merchants. They are devastated and we want people to know that Japantown is safe, we're here, we're open," added Alice Kawahatsu of the Japantown Task Force.

A town hall meeting is expected soon with the Japantown Community Benefit District working closely with police to ensure their safety.

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