Gun violence prevention worker fatally shot ‘point blank’ during lunch break

The gun-violence prevention worker fatally shot in the Bayview earlier this month was outside his home when he was struck three times at point-blank range, according to an online fundraiser from his family.

Joseph Taeotui, 43, died at the hospital Wednesday more than a week after two men shot him on Aug. 13 across the street from a youth center on Kiska Road between Reardon and Dormitory roads.

Taeotui was on his lunch break as a city employee for the Street Violence Prevention Program when the gunmen fired five shots at him, according to a GoFundMe page from his niece, Bernadette Tilei.

Tilei said her uncle “fought a good fight to come back strong.”

“The pain and heartache by the loss of his life resonates not just within our family but throughout the community,” Tilei said.

San Francisco police have yet to make an arrest in the homicide.

Police Chief Bill Scott stressed that police “need to solve this one” at the Police Commission earlier this month.

“He spent a majority of his life working to protect our community and to keep our streets safer, and he was gunned down in the middle of the street in broad daylight,” Scott said.

Taeotui, also known as Jungle, was raised in the Bayview and had a wife and a 2-year-old daughter, according to the GoFundMe. He is remembered as a family man who “was always full of life.”

“He made it his life mission to encourage and educate the youth and the community against street violence for a better quality of life,” Tilei said.

Ingleside Police Station Capt. Jack Hart said on Twitter, “He was a true peacemaker, proactively working to keep our neighborhoods safe. Now, his family needs our help.”

The GoFundMe page had raised $3,275 as of Sunday morning.

His death marks the 31st homicide in San Francisco so far this year.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

Michael Barba
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