Two alleged gang members will face federal charges in connection with a “brazen” shootout that killed a man and injured five others in the Fillmore last March, authorities said Thursday.
Police Chief Bill Scott joined federal law enforcement officials to announce the grand jury indictment against San Francisco residents Jamare Coats, 26, and Robert Manning, 28.
“This event was heinous,” Scott said. “An exchange of gunfire on city streets on a busy night by members of rival gangs. Bystanders who were injured by gunfire — unsuspecting bystanders at that.”
Federal prosecutors say Manning and Coats are members of the Western Addition’s Mac Block gang.
The shooting happened outside a funeral reception for a well-known pimp at the Fillmore Heritage Center on March 23, 2019, the San Francisco Examiner previously reported.
The shootout injured several “completely innocent” bystanders who were enjoying a busy Saturday evening in the district, John Bennett, special agent in charge of the FBI in San Francisco.
Among them was a 27-year-old man who was shot in the spine and paralyzed from the waist down.
“An event like this is completely unacceptable,” Bennett said. “The streets of San Francisco cannot and will not be used as a playground for gang warfare. We won’t allow it and we will pursue those who try. Those wannabe kings of the street don’t have a throne waiting for them, they have a prison cell waiting for them.”
The gun battle shuttered the Fillmore Heritage Center over concerns about a lack of security plans for events at the building, prompting outrage within the community. The center has occasionally hosted events since.
U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California David Anderson hailed the indictment as an example of the work that can be accomplished when federal and local law enforcement cooperate.
Anderson took the opportunity to jab at San Francisco for having sanctuary policies that prohibit cooperation with immigration officials and for suspending participation in the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
“We are all safer when federal and local law enforcement are allowed to work together,” Anderson said. “Cases are cleared faster when we remove obstacles to cooperation, and there is no greater contributor to public safety than professional investigations and prompt charging decisions.”
Coats and Manning have been indicted on one count each of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death and being a felon in possession of a firearm, court records show.
The shooting killed 25-year-old Mister Dee Carnell Simmons III.
In state and federal court records, prosecutors say Simmons flashed a firearm during an argument outside the center with a group of men including Coats, Manning and 25-year-old Sean Harrison.
Coats and the others then allegedly went to different cars and pulled out handguns. When they returned to the center, Simmons allegedly pulled out his gun and shot at them. Coats and Harrison then allegedly returned fire.
Coats and Harrison were initially arrested within days of the shooting and faced firearms charges in San Francisco Superior Court. Harrison later entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
And in July, court records show Coats was indicted in federal court on a firearms charge stemming from the shooting.
Manning was arrested last April for violating the terms of his supervised release in an unrelated gun case from 2013.
The latest charges against Coats and Manning were filed last month in a newly unsealed superceding indictment.
Both men remain in custody.