San Francisco police have arrested three people – including a man who was recently acquitted of murder – in connection with a shooting that injured a police sergeant in the city's Sunnydale neighborhood on Sunday.
The shooting occurred at about 2 p.m. just outside the Ingleside police substation at the corner of Sunnydale Avenue and Hahn Street, police spokesman Officer Samson Chan said.
The sergeant, whose name has not been released, drove himself to the hospital after the shooting and was released in good condition Sunday night, Chan said.
Chan said the sergeant, a veteran of the department, works out of the station and oversees the Sunnydale public housing projects.
“He's very familiar with many of the residents in the neighborhood,” Chan said.
Chan said the sergeant heard a gunshot from inside the station.
When he went outside to investigate, heard several more shots from at least two different guns.
Simultaneously, he felt the bullet fragment hit his face, Chan said. It was later determined that a bullet had hit the metal security gate at the front of the station, sending a fragment at the sergeant.
Despite his injury, the sergeant stayed at the scene for a time to search for the shooters.
Police found an M-1 assault rifle nearby, Chan said. A short time later, they arrested Marcus Gaines and Orlando Ware, both 18-year-old San Francisco residents, and an unnamed male juvenile in the neighborhood, Chan said. All three were arrested for attempted homicide and remain in custody.
Ware was acquitted of murder in San Francisco Superior Court on Sept. 10, after being charged with the May 7, 2007, fatal shooting of 19-year-old Eric Campos during a drug deal. Jurors had concluded there was not enough evidence to convict; Ware's attorney argued that Ware's friend, who resembles Ware, committed the crime.
Prosecutors said at the time that Ware “got away with murder.”
The 2007 shooting occurred eight days after Ware had been released from the Youth Guidance Center where he had served time for a robbery he was found to be responsible for as a 15-year-old, district attorney's office spokesman Brian Buckelew said.
“Orlando Ware is not a stranger to the criminal justice system,” Buckelew said. “We look forward to reviewing the case and making a charging decision.”
Another gunshot victim, a male juvenile, was reported to have arrived at San Francisco General Hospital around the same time as the Sunnydale shooting on Sunday, Chan said. His possible involvement in the shooting is still being probed.
The gang task force is investigating the case, Chan said. It's still uncertain whether the sergeant was targeted, caught in the crossfire, or caught in the crossfire and then targeted, he said.
The substation is located next to a public housing complex that has seen its share of violence.
“It has been a problem area,” said Chan. “That area is known to have gang activity, and it's also known that there's opposing gangs who often target each other.”