Detectives seek car used in shooting death of witness

San Francisco homicide detectives appear to be closing in on the killers of a witness who was shot to death while under the protection of the District Attorney's Office on May 4.

Police served three search warrants at two homes in the Bayview District and one in Pacifica on Wednesday, which they identified through the ongoing investigation.

Police also released information about a vehicle they suspect was used when three masked men chased Terrell Rollins into a Bayshore Boulevard auto shop, shot him dead and wounded his companion.

On September 19, 2005, Rollins, 22, was standing on the corner of Third Street and Kirkwood Avenue when he was sprayed with gunfire intended for Arkelylius Collins, 20, of Pittsburg. Collins was killed in the drive-by. Rollins was badly hurt.

Rollins later testified before a grand jury that suspected gang members Daniel Dennard and Deonte “Dango” Bennett, both 21, had committed the murder.

Rollins’ death highlighted the fear many San Francisco murder witnesses say they feel about coming forward to testify. Police repeatedly have said they often know who killers are but cannot make an arrest because witnesses refuse to testify.

After Rollins’ death, District Attorney Kamala Harris vowed to beef up the office’s witness protection program and transferred seven inspectors to the detail, for a total of 14.

Spokeswoman Bilen Mesfin said Wednesday that in February Harris requested funds for seven additional inspectors on the detail. The City’s budget, released today, included funds for more inspectors, but it is unclear how many.

Police said they are looking for a white, 4-door, 1993 Cadillac Seville with tinted rear windows and the license plate 3JGR682, the car they think was used in Rollins’ shooting.

Police are asking anyone who may have seen the car or who has any information on Rollins’ slaying to contact their confidential tip line at (415) 575-4444.

amartin@examiner.com

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