Prime suspect arrested in Visitacion Valley gang slayings

Police DepartmentKeith Wilkins is the prime suspect in a July 30 shooting that killed two gang members.

The prime suspect in a July 30 broad-daylight shooting that killed two known gang members in Visitacion Valley — contributing to a deadly summer in the neighborhood — was charged with murder Wednesday.

Last week, Keith Wilkins, 23, was arrested on suspicion of killing Marche Daniels, 25, and Frederick Glaspie, 27, after a large brawl on Burr Avenue. At the time of his arrest, police said, Wilkins was in custody for a probation violation. His bail was set at $10 million and he’s scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

Few details have been released about what led to Wilkins’ arrest. Police did say sufficient evidence against Wilkins has been gathered. The Police Department teamed up on the case with the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Glaspie and Daniels were both named in a 2010 gang injunction for their association with the vicious Towerside gang, which is known to operate in and around Burr Avenue.

Authorities have not said whether Wilkins also is a gang member. A profile on www.eddyrock.com for a 23-year-old man by the same name described himself as a San Franciscan who “will sacrifice my self to see that others survive. Oh yea BURR!!!” Burr Avenue is a strip in the housing projects where Towerside members operate.

At the time of the shooting, police Chief Greg Suhr claimed several homicides, including the incident that killed Glaspie and Daniels, apparently stemmed from warring gangs.

“Just a couple of weeks ago, these guys were friends,” Suhr has said. “But now they’ve turned on each other.”

A day before the July 30 killings, 18-year-old Elijah Hopkins — who police say also was connected to Towerside — was found shot to death in Diamond Heights. And on July 31, 26-year-old Edmundo Sandoval was killed in the Portola neighborhood.

Sandoval was a known member of the Down Below Gang that operates in the Sunnydale housing projects near Towerside territory, police said. He was reportedly also the prime suspect in the March killing of Towerside member Diondre Young, who was found shot to death in Rincon Hill.

Young was given a hero’s funeral when his casket was paraded around the neighborhood where Towerside operates. Police had to take action to keep the casket from crossing into  the Down Below Gang’s territory.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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