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North Beach police shooting tops off bloody week for San Francisco

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There have been 18 reported homicides in The City so far this year. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

By the time police shot a man in North Beach early Saturday morning, San Francisco had already been caught in a wave of violence that began seven days earlier with the gruesome discovery of a dismembered body.

San Francisco has recorded four homicides and a police shooting since last Saturday, when officers found the decaying remains of a 61-year-old woman hidden in the Mission District.

The bloodshed came after more than a month without a homicide reported in San Francisco and at a time when violent crime is down in The City.

On Wednesday, a day before a triple shooting left one dead in the Mission and a man allegedly killed his wife in the Excelsior, police Chief Bill Scott lauded the “very, very positive” crime statistics in San Francisco so far this year.

“When you look at our five year trend for homicides, we are as low as we’ve been since 2014 in terms of homicides year to date,” Scott told the Police Commission. “We will continue to do the things we’re doing and make adjustments when we need to, but really good news to report on the crime front.”

Scott said the number of people shot in San Francisco was down 15 percent, with 64 gunshot victims so far this year compared to 75 the year prior. There were also 12 fewer homicides reported so far this year, with 16 as of Wednesday compared to 28 at that time in 2017, according to Scott.

After Wednesday, the number of reported homicides rose to 18.

The police shooting that topped off the week happened just after midnight Saturday during a foot pursuit through a busy stretch of North Beach. Police have offered few details in the shooting, but said the suspect had a gun.

A witness told the San Francisco Examiner he heard a bystander yell, “You shot him from behind” at police. The suspect was taken to the hospital and remained in life-threatening condition as of Saturday afternoon.

The police shooting followed two homicides on Thursday.

In the Mission, 21-year-old Jaime Poole of San Francisco and two other men were shot on Treat Avenue near Cesar Chavez Street around 3:20 p.m. Poole died about an hour later at the hospital. Police said the suspect is unknown.

Earlier that day, police say 43-year-old Robert Riley shot and killed his wife in the Excelsior. Riley, who is also known as Chui Chekele Riley, is still wanted for the homicide of 34-year-old Vanessa Palma of South San Francisco.

Riley allegedly shot Palma in broad daylight on Mission Street between Santa Rosa Avenue and Harrington Street. He is considered armed and dangerous and was last seen in a white Chrysler 300 with a California license plate of 7UAB831.

On Monday, 26-year-old Jevon Cael was shot and killed near a school on Oakdale Avenue in the Bayview. A gunman fatally wounded Cael on the same block as the Leola M. Harvard Early Education School at around 11:11 a.m.

The police chief said on Wednesday that there is no suspect in custody, but police “have some good leads.”

“We hope we can resolve this case pretty quickly,” Scott said at the commission.

Last Saturday, police found body parts that had been decaying for weeks in a storage space at 255 14th St., where prosecutors claim 47-year-old Lisa Gonzales killed her roommate in an eviction dispute and chopped up her body.

Her roommate, Margaret Mamer, was reported missing to police June 1.

Mamer had fallen on hard times and moved in with Gonzales last August for $400 a month in rent. In April, Gonzales told her roommate to move out and allegedly killed her a month later when she refused, according to court records.

Police found the body in pieces stuffed into plastic bags and hidden in a plastic container covered with maggots. Prosecutors have suggested that Gonzales used a hacksaw to sever the body in her bathroom.

It turns out that Gonzales has also had rental trouble of her own. In 2014, Gonzales protested her landlord for allegedly threatening to evict her family.

Gonzales has not yet entered a plea.

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