San Francisco Police investigate a crash scene at Eighth and Folsom streets on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Man faces attempted murder charges over shooting with AR-15 style rifle

Suspect in violent road-rage incident had recently been released from prison

Shortly after his release from federal prison, a 24-year-old man from San Francisco is back in custody after authorities say he fired an assault rifle into an occupied vehicle and nearly killed the driver.

Evonta Bailey has a long history of arrests dating back to his troubled teens growing up in Bayview-Hunters Point, court records show. An alleged gang affiliate and convicted felon, he was serving time until last November for illegally carrying a firearm on two occasions, including at the 2019 Pride Parade.

Then last month, police identified Bailey as the shooter in a March 18 road-rage incident at Thomas Avenue and Quint Street that left a 25-year-old man clinging to life and injured a 13-year-old passenger who was cut by shattered glass.

Police said two suspects pursued the victims to the scene of the shooting following a minor traffic collision near Third and Palou streets.

But Bailey’s attorney with the Public Defender’s Office, Eric Fleischaker, suggested the victims may have been following the suspects.

“We’re still getting information in this case, but early reports indicate that a silver car was chasing a black car before a shooting occurred which sent the driver of the silver car to the hospital,” Fleischaker said. “My client, Mr. Bailey, has pled not guilty and we look forward to sharing more details when we can.”

Police arrested Bailey last Wednesday on the 1400 block of San Leandro Boulevard in San Leandro. He is now being held at County Jail without the option of bail after the District Attorney’s Office filed various counts of attempted murder, assault and other charges against him last Friday.

Prosecutors say he fired a “semi-automatic AR-15 style assault rifle.”

Evonta Bailey (Courtesy SFPD)

Evonta Bailey (Courtesy SFPD)

Bailey previously pleaded guilty to two counts of being a felon of possession in a firearm in August 2019 over the Pride incident and another arrest that March in the Bayview. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release for each count in November 2019.

After his arrest at Pride, court records show Bailey told law enforcement he carried the gun for protection. He was raised in group homes and has lost close friends to gun violence.

“Bailey spent his formative years in an environment suffused with instability, violence and poverty,” his federal public defender wrote in court records from the case. “Before he had hit his teenage years, he was already ‘dodging bullets’ and other kids regularly assaulted him in his neighborhood.”

But federal prosecutors said Bailey had an increasingly violent criminal past that began with a robbery arrest at the age of 13. They said he had ties to Hunters Points’ Q Street Mob — an allegation that the defense disputed. “There are no indications that Mr. Bailey will discontinue his negative associations or cease his course of criminal conduct,” federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

Bailey was on supervised release when the shooting occurred. Court records show he was placed on electronic monitoring March 25 — the week before his arrest — for violating the conditions of his release by failing to contact his probation officer and using marijuana, among other things.

Bailey is scheduled to appear in San Francisco Supervisor Court Tuesday morning in the attempted murder case.

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