Elderly man beaten, killed after midnight trip to buy cigarettes

The City’s latest homicide victim went out to buy cigarettes. Unfortunately, after buying a pack at a store near his SoMa home early Thursday morning, he never got the chance to smoke one.

Police believe the 71-year-old man was returning from the store just after 1:30 a.m. when he was attacked near Mission and Fifth streets, east of an alley called Mary Street, by a would-be robber who beat the elderly man to the ground. He would later die of those wounds.

A witness saw the suspect, a black man in his 30s who was wearing a black stocking cap and a long black jacket, as he was searching through the victim’s pockets, according to police Sgt. Neville Gittens. The witness yelled and the suspect ran off toward Sixth Street.

Police are unsure if the victim resisted when first approached by the robber, and it’s unclear whether the suspect used his fists or a weapon, Gittens said.

“What we suggest is that when somebody is approached by a robber, you should comply with their demands,” Gittens said. “You can always replace your personal items. It’s not worth your own safety.”

The victim still had his wallet as well as an unopened pack of cigarettes in his pocket, Gittens said.

The man is the 23rd person killed in San Francisco so far this year. At the same time in 2007, when The City tallied its highest homicide rate in a decade, there were 24 homicides.

bbegin@examiner.com

Just Posted

Drivers looking for a shortcut to get steered off Page Street

Drivers be warned: If you’re looking to circumvent Oak Street traffic to… Continue reading

Muni aims to end operator shortage by summer 2021

Director of Transit warns that further service improvements may not be possible until then

Man fatally stabbed during fight on BART train in Hayward

A man in his 40s was fatally stabbed in a fight on… Continue reading

ADUs for me and you

Whether you agree with Bernie Sanders that Apple “helped create the housing… Continue reading

Battle brews within SF police union over leadership style

Gary Delagnes-endorsed candidate to challenge Tony Montoya for presidency

Most Read