New leads in deadly attack at Temple Nightclub 

The grieving family of a medical student murdered at a South of Market nightclub in January hopes new breakthroughs in the case will help put the killer behind bars.

Police recently released surveillance video from the club and announced an arrest in a case related to the killing of Joseph Hernandez, 30, at the Temple Nightclub on Jan. 9.

Hernandez, a fourth-year student at UCSF, was fatally beaten during an unprovoked attack at the nightclub, where three separate fights erupted both indoors and outdoors on a chaotic night, police said.

Last week, police arrested Tracy Luong, 22, of San Jose, on charges that she bashed a bystander in the face with high-heel shoes. The bystander Luong hit had been trying to stop the attack on Hernandez, police said. Luong is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

On Monday, police released video footage from the nightclub taken prior to the attack that shows a suspect they hope to identify. The video indicates the suspect is an Asian male with a “sleeve” tattoo on his right arm.

Tonia Baca, Hernandez’s sister, said Wednesday the video and arrest have brought her family hope that justice will be served.

“That is exactly the reaction we are hoping to get from the community, to put pressure on someone to turn this guy in,” Baca said. “Someone knows who he is.”

Inspector Mike Morley said Hernandez was the victim of a fight he did not start.

“Somebody else might have said something, but it wasn’t him,” Morley said.

Baca told The San Francisco Examiner in January that her brother hadn’t been to a nightclub in months because of a busy medical school schedule and that he had been talking to a fellow student about graduation and their futures when the melee broke out.

During a graduation ceremony Monday at Davies Symphony Hall, UCSF presented Hernandez with a posthumous degree.

A memorial scholarship at UCSF has been established in Hernandez’s honor. The family hopes to reach $125,000 to establish a permanent endowment. So far, the scholarship fund has reached $17,000, Baca said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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Sunday, Jan 25, 2015

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