How SF’s homicide count increased from 41 to 45 after two slayings

The number of homicides in San Francisco seemed to jump from 41 to 45 last week, even though police only reported two separate slayings.

The following review of the San Francisco Police Department’s homicide count details the reasons for the sudden rise in homicide numbers.

The two men killed in separate incidents earlier this month marked the 44th and 45th homicides of the year.

On the evening of Nov. 22, a 44-year-old man was stabbed to death on a Portola sidewalk. Responding officers found San Francisco-resident Jorge Villacorte-Garcia unconscious on the unit block of Ceres Street with multiple stab wounds to his upper torso.

Villacorte-Garcia was pronounced dead at the scene. The next morning, police arrested Jose Freddy Mata, 51, of San Francisco, on suspicion of murder. Prosecutors have filed murder and assault with a deadly weapon charges against Mata, but he has yet to be arraigned.

He’s being held at County Jail on $5 million bail.

Two days prior to the fatal stabbing, a 28-year-old man was shot in the head at Third Street and Kirkwood Avenue in the Bayview, police said. He died in the emergency room at San Francisco General Hospital and was later identified as San Francisco resident Otis Williams, authorities said.

Homicide removed

When 30-year-old Ryan Washington was shot to death during the commission of a robbery at an Oceanview clothing store Oct. 11, the killing marked the 41st homicide of the year. But new developments in the case have since removed Washington’s death from the homicide count, Officer Grace Gatpandan said. His death might have been the result of self defense, or an accident during the crime. The case is still under investigation.

Unreported homicides

With the removal of Washington’s death from the homicide count, the 41st homicide of the year is marked by the death of an unidentified man whose body was found Oct. 14 in Alameda County, Officer Grace Gatpandan said.

He was the victim of a sex crime near Folsom and Ninth streets on Sept. 26. While his death is included on the homicide count, Gatpandan said it’s only a “possible homicide.”

“It’s still unclear if it’s a homicide,” Gatpandan said. The incident is officially being investigated as a “death case.” Two other deaths are listed on the homicide count that were not immediately reported as homicides in The City.

An unidentified woman who died in late September was also included on the list after an Aug. 24 incident near Sutter and Gough streets. The details surrounding her death are unclear.

Then on Nov. 3, a 48-year-old man died in connection with an attack that happened several months before. The man, later identified as James Muldrow, of San Francisco, was assaulted near Turk and Hyde streets June 6, police said.

Police are investigating Muldrow’s death as the 43rd homicide of 2015. The Medical Examiner’s Office said it has yet to determine the cause and manner of his death.

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