SFPD: Potrero Hill resident shoots, kills armed intruder

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Three with attacker fled, two occupants of housing project also shot, police say

A would-be armed attacker was shot dead Thursday after he entered an apartment in the Potrero Hill housing project, according to police.

Melvin Brown III, 28, was killed by an occupant of the apartment in the 1000 block of Connecticut Street, after he entered carrying an assault weapon. He was with a group, but the rest of the people ran off, and Brown entered the apartment alone, police spokeswoman Officer Maria Oropeza said Friday.

Several shots were fired after Brown entered the unit, Oropeza said. When the fray was over, two of the unit’s residents had been hit, as well as Brown, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Oropeza said police believe the attack was targeted.

The shooting marks the second time this summer that someone has died after gunmen entered a Potrero Hill housing project. On June 26, three masked men entered the home of 42-year-old Willie Cole, shooting him dead in what police characterized as a targeted killing.

Brown is the 59th homicide victim this year, setting a pace that could exceed last year’s record-breaking murder total of 96. This latest homicide comes at a particularly violent time for The City. Seven people were killed in an eight-day stretch that ended last Saturday. On Wednesday, a young boy was injured by a stray bullet during a gun battle near Crocker Amazon Playground.

Six people were in the Connecticut Street apartment at the time of Thursday’s attack, Oropeza said. Of the six, three were injured. Two males, ages 27 and 36, suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds, Oropeza said.

A 24-year-old female injured her leg trying to flee the gunfire, Oropeza said.

An elderly woman and two children, one 4 years old and the other 2 months old, were also in the unit but were not harmed, Oropeza said.

Brown struggled with one or more of the occupants of the apartment after he entered, Oropeza said. He was possibly shot with his own gun.

No arrests have been made in the case and no charges are pending against the residents of the apartment, Oropeza said.

The San Francisco Police Department has a unit dedicated to policing public housing projects. Noone from that unit was available for comment Friday.

San Francisco Housing Authority Director Gregg Fortner was out of the office. Assistant Director Donna Martin indicated through a secretary that he is the only person in that agency who is authorized to speak to the press.

amartin@examiner.com

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