Mourners pack church in honor of slain men

Dozens of photographs of birthdays, basketball games and graduations greeted mourners at the entrance of the tightly packed St. Paul Church on Tuesday, but all eyes were affixed on the caskets ahead of them, grave reminders that three lives were taken from a San Francisco family.

A crowd of more than 1,200 people, made up of family members, friends, teammates and political dignitaries, showed up to pay their respects to Tony Bologna, 48, and his two sons, Michael 20, and Matthew, 16, who were fatally shot by a suspected gang member following a traffic incident June 22.

At the 97-year-old Catholic institution on Church and Valley streets, every seat in the building was taken 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the service at 11 a.m.

After nearly 90 minutes of formal Catholic funeral proceedings, Danielle Bologna, widow of Anthony Bologna and mother of the two slain sons, gave a brief, but emotional plea for justice near the coffins.

“This is a tragedy that can happen to any family, so we must pull together,” Bologna said. “We don’t want to be angry people and let this thing win us, but we do want justice to prevail. I will not rest until it’s done.”

Shortly following her speech, Bologna walked behind the procession of the three caskets, each draped in white fabric and carried out to the piano ruminations of Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Hundreds of high-school-aged students were at the funeral to show solidarity to Danielle Bologna’s middle son, a recent graduate of Lincoln High School.

Danielle Bologna, who publicly appealed last week for the death penalty for Edwin Ramos, 21, the El Sobrante man accused of the triple-murder, did not elaborate afterward if her call for justice at the funeral signified support for capital punishment. San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris has vowed in the past to never pursue the death penalty.

“What I said is what I meant,” Danielle Bologna told The Examiner. “I’ll leave it at that.”

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom attended a portion of the funeral, opting to stand discreetly at the back of the packed church.

“My heart goes out to the family,” Newsom said.

Ramos, who police say is a member of the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13 gang, is scheduled to appear in court on July 3, where he is expected to plead not guilty to the charges levied against him.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocalTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A health care worker receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Tuesday Dec. 15, 2020. (Courtesy SFgov)
SF to open three large sites for COVID-19 vaccinations

Breed: ‘We need more doses. We are asking for more doses’

Tongo Eisen-Martin, a Bernal Heights resident, named San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tongo Eisen-Martin becomes San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate

Bernal Heights resident Tongo Eisen-Martin has become San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate.… Continue reading

Homeless people's tents can be seen on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 16, 2020. (Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong/S.F. Examiner)
Statewide business tax could bring new funds to combat homelessness

San Francisco could get more than $100 million a year for housing, rental assistance, shelter beds

The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco (a mural by artist Jamie Treacy is pictued) has a lineup of free online programming including activities for youngsters scheduled for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18. (Courtesy Demetri Broxton/Museum of the African Diaspora)
Stanford, Museum of the African Diaspora host MLK Day activities

Online offerings include films, music, discussion

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presides the US House of Representatives vote on the impeachment of US President Donald Trump at the US Capitol, January 13, 2021, in Washington, DC. - The Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives on January 13 opened debate on a historic second impeachment of President Donald Trump over his supporters' attack of the Capitol that left five dead. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)
House votes 232-197 to impeach Trump a second time

Focus shifts to Senate, where McConnell has signaled he may not stand by president

Most Read