San Francisco police discovered five adults dead in a home near City College of San Francisco Friday morning in a grisly crime that may have been a murder-suicide.
Although police do not yet know the details of the crime, in which at least some of the victims died from gunshot wounds, they believe it was confined to a single home at 16 Howth St. and are consequently not searching for a gunman, Police Chief Greg Suhr said.
At least four of the five deceased were related, with the fifth being an acquintance or relative, San Francisco police Cmdr. Lyn Tomioka said. Suhr called the house “a complicated crime scene.”
The massacre was first discovered by a family member who returned to the house at 7:45 Friday morning to discover a man dead in the threshold of the door. She called police and then discovered two more adults, a man and a woman, dead in the garage, Suhr said.
When police arrived, they discovered two more bodies, both women, one downstairs in the rear of the home and one more upstairs, Suhr said.
Although police did not reveal the identities of the deceased, Suhr said that some if not all appear to be members of the same family and residents of the home.
Neighbors were stunned at the violence, saying their neighborhood is rough around the edges but generally safe.
A neighbor who lived next door to 16 Howth St. said he heard a "boom" at around 2 a.m. and also heard someone yell, "Get down." He said he thought he was hearing commotion from heavily-trafficked Ocean Avenue.
He described the family as "really nice people."
"I don't even know how to react right now," he said, describing the police activity on his block as "disorienting."
Mayor Ed Lee called the deaths a "terrible tragedy" in a statement Friday.
The home, which property records show is owned by Lei Yingxue, is directly across the street from Bothin Memorial Hall just south of City College.
Although police were not searching for a gunman, they are canvassed the neighborhood in a search for people who may have seen something relevant to the crime. Residents of the neighborhood were not believed to be at risk, the chief said.