Longtime suspect arrested in quadruple Hayes Valley homicide

Dozens of people marched to the site of the Jan. 9, 2015, quadruple murder in Hayes Valley following a vigil held days later in honor of the four victims. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)

A suspect in one of San Francisco’s most vicious single acts of recent violence — a quadruple homicide in Hayes Valley in early 2015 in what authorities believe was a gang-related feud — has been arrested.

Lee Farley, Jr., 27, a San Francisco resident who was previously suspected in a 2009 shooting in the mid-Market area, was arrested Friday on suspicion of four counts of murder with gang enhancements in connection with the Jan. 9, 2015 killings.

Farley had been sentenced in March to firearms-related charges and was in custody in U.S. Penitentiary, Atwater. Farley, who had been serving time in the Merced County federal prison, was transported to San Francisco County Jail once the District Attorney’s Office issued a warrant for his arrest, according to authorities.

Farley has been a suspect since soon after the 2015 slaying. At his federal detention hearing, about two months after the Hayes Valley shooting, prosecutors told the court Farley was a suspect in the crime.

The shooting

The shooting left four young men dead and their communities shaken.

Manuel O’Neal, David Saucier II, Harith Atchan, and Yalani Chinyamurindi were all shot multiple times in the early evening incident while in a car at Laguna and Page streets, where their bodies were found.

In all, four guns were used in the killings, but authorities would not say whether they are searching for additional suspects.

Authorities believe the incident is part of a feud between two local gangs that has been ongoing since 2010. The victims were allegedly associated with the Mac Block gang, and the shooter with Page Street gang. Federal court documents also show Farley is associated with the Black Guerrilla Family.

Investigation

Video footage from the scene helped lead investigators to Farley, as well as evidence in his federal case. Additionally, the Hertz rental car used in the shooting was allegedly tracked to Farley, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Acting Police Chief Toney Chaplin was in charge of the SFPD’s Homicide Detail when the killings occurred, and said he promised the victims’ families that police “would do everything we could” to solve the crime.

“I have been updated regularly by the Homicide Detail and I am happy to announce that the Department has arrested a suspect and begun the process of bringing justice and healing to the victims’ families,” he said in a statement.

Charges

Farley has been booked on four counts of murder, four counts of shooting at an inhabited vehicle, one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted narcotics offender, and one count of participation in a criminal street gang.

The investigation is ongoing, say police, who did not release Farley’s mugshot. He is set to appear in court for his arraignment Monday.

Priors

According to federal court documents related to Farley’s gun conviction earlier this year — he was convicted of trafficking stolen weapons — he had a long list of prior convictions as well.

Farley was convicted in 2007 of possessing crack cocaine. In 2010 he was convicted of illegal firearm possession and possession of a controlled substance. He was convicted of second-degree burglary in 2012 and first-degree burglary in 2014.

The 2010 conviction stemmed from a plea deal, according to court documents. Farley had originally been charged with attempted murder and shooting from a moving vehicle, among other charges, for a July 2009 shooting near Market and Eighth streets that sent one man to the hospital.

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