An alleged gang member who rallied against gun violence has been arrested by the FBI in connection with the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy in the Mission District, federal authorities said Friday.
Fernando Madrigal, 22, is among the suspected Mission District Norteños who allegedly shot and killed Day’von Hann at 24th and Capp streets on July 8, 2019. Later that same month, Madrigal joined a city supervisor and Hann’s mother on the steps of City Hall to call for an end to homicides.
“This is a tragic loss for everybody,” said Rudy Corpuz, who runs an anti-violence group called the United Playaz, which mentored Hann before his death. “You have two young, promising men who actually had a lot of potential to change the world, to end gun violence.”
A newly unsealed criminal complaint against Madrigal detailed the bloody rivalry between the Norteños and Army Street gang that is believed to have led to the shooting and also claimed the lives of others.
Madrigal has a tattoo on his arm in remembrance of his best friend, “Lil Panch,” an unidentified juvenile and suspected Norteño who was shot and killed in 2015. “Lil Panch” is believed to have been involved in the 2014 homicide of 14-year-old Rashawn Williams.
Hann was shot with a rifle shortly after midnight when Madrigal and other suspected Norteños were allegedly asking people near 24th and Capp streets, “where you from?”
The Norteños claim 24th Street between Mission Street and Potrero Avenue.
Hann lived in an area claimed by the Army Street gang at the Bernal Dwellings, but the FBI does not believe he was a gang member.
Hann was shot in the back and died at the scene. At 15, he was identified by the student identification card in his pocket.
FBI Deputy Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair called the killing “senseless and horrific.”
“No one should be afraid to walk in their own neighborhood, and no one deserves to lose their son or daughter to gang violence.”
The FBI and San Francisco police linked Madrigal to the killing through a second shooting that happened minutes later and from social media posts.
Officers were near Mission and Cesar Chavez streets that morning when they heard rapid gunfire. They were searching the area when they spotted a black Honda Civic speeding through Folsom and 26th streets.
The officers followed the car to Bernal Dwellings where the vehicle slowed and a passenger fired a single round toward the apartments.
A high-speed pursuit ensued with police chasing the black Honda onto Highway 101 before losing sight of the car.
Investigators later determined that the two shootings were carried out with the same rifle after comparing nine shell casings found at the scene of the killing with one casing found at the other shooting.
Authorities also learned that the Honda was registered to Madrigal.
What’s more, Madrigal allegedly posted a video to his Instagram days before the killing that showed a black short-barreled rifle. The rifle is capable of firing the same rounds used in the shooting.
“Riding around with the mini chopper,” Madrigal allegedly wrote when he posted another video, apparently referring to driving around with the rifle.
A third video allegedly showed him loading a magazine with the same ammunition. He was wearing a glove, possibly to “avoid leaving evidence such as DNA or fingerprints on the ammunition,” the FBI said.
Madrigal himself has been the victim of gun violence.
A month before the killing on June 10, he survived a gunshot wound to the head after undergoing brain surgery, according to a GoFundMe page in his name.
“For the last year, Fernando has been on a mission to address the needs of young people impacted by violence and incarceration,” wrote Ruth Barajas, who organized the page. “He has spoke at multiple conferences, sharing his personal story as a victim of violence, having been previously shot and stabbed.”
Barajas also described Madrigal as a “young person who spent most of his teen years incarcerated” and as an “instrumental advocate for the closure of SF Juvenile Hall.”
Madrigal reportedly spoke at an April event at City Hall calling for the facility to be shuttered.
Barajas, the director of a community group, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the complaint, the FBI also made note of an SF Weekly report on Madrigal speaking at the July 30 anti-violence rally alongside Hann’s mother.
“The press reported that Madrigal was also at the rally and spoke to at least the reporter about being a victim of gun violence, saying he could not feel his left hand after having been shot in the head the prior month,” an agent wrote.
Madrigal was arrested in part by an FBI SWAT team on Friday morning. The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged him with use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime resulting in death.
“The Mission District is a wonderful neighborhood, a diverse neighborhood, a neighborhood of children and young families and the elderly,” said David Anderson, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California. “The Mission District deserves to be just as free from gang warfare as every other neighborhood in San Francisco.”
Madrigal’s first court appearance has not been set.