A San Francisco man is facing a murder charge for allegedly decapitating his 82-year-old grandmother at their apartment in South of Market, a law enforcement source said Thursday.
Andrew Shanz Luke, 30, was arrested after police found his grandmother Chii-Chyu Horng dead during a welfare check shortly after midnight Wednesday at the third-floor apartment they shared at the Woolf House Apartments at 801 Howard St.
A source said her head had been chopped off. Police have released few details in the case, but said the suspect in the homicide used a knife.
Luke was booked into the ward at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital for a medical evaluation, according to authorities. The District Attorney’s Office charged him with murder and elder abuse on Thursday.
Eva Fok, the ex-wife of Luke’s father, told the San Francisco Examiner that Luke has lived with his grandmother since his mother died when he was five years old. Fok said Luke suffers from mental illness.
“They lived together for such a long time, it’s such a shock and nightmare for me that something happened,” Fok said. “I think he will feel sorry for his whole life. He will mourn and despair for his whole life.”
Fok said Luke was prescribed medication that he did not always take. At 19, Luke was briefly hospitalized for mental illness.
“He was sent to the hospital for a month,” she said. “He became crazy, and spent all of his money from his dead mother, which was really for his college fund.”
When Luke was angered, “he would change into a different person,” Fok said.
Luke has been moved from the hospital to a psychiatric facility in the North Bay, according to Fok. Police have not allowed her or his father to speak with him since the arrest.
Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Terry Rather said Luke was in custody and deputies were standing watch, but could not confirm Luke’s current location.
Luke lived with his grandmother at the Woolf House, an apartment building for low-income seniors that is managed by the John Stewart Company.
John Stewart Company CEO Jack Gardner previously told the Examiner that workers saw authorities wheel the body through the lobby Wednesday morning.
“It’s really tragic and it’s really unusual,” Gardner said. “This doesn’t happen often and the building is locked and secured and has security cameras.”
The killing marked the 37th homicide of the year in San Francisco.
Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeink
This story has been updated to include additional information