With 10 killings in six days, the murder rate during the last week topped monthly averages over the previous two years in San Francisco.
The six days from Aug. 31 through Wednesday saw one of The City’s sharpest spikes in slayings, surpassing many whole months in recent years. There were an average of 7.3 slayings per month in 2004, when The City had 88 slayings overall with a spike of 13 killings in the month of June.
In 2005, there were 96 slayings — an average of eight per month — and a spike of 20 in November. In 2006, the monthly average was 7.08 killings, for a total of 85, with a high of 14 in August. To date, the monthly average is nine per month, including the month of September, for a total of 81. Spikes of 13 were seen in January and July.
“We’ve been trying everything and we’ll continue to try everything,” Mayor Gavin Newsom said Thursday. “Our [overall] violent crime rate is down in San Francisco. That’s the perversity of it. It’s actually down, and our homicide rate is up.”
The latest spike in violence comes as lawmakers continue to debate and study crime prevention efforts such as crime surveillance cameras, curfews for youth and city-mandated foot patrols.
On Monday, San Francisco police Sgt. Neville Gittens said the department’s Gang Task Force was saturating a neighborhood where two slayings took place near the Sunnydale housing project.
But as police increase their presence in some trouble spots, one policymaker said crime may get pushed into new areas.
“We had drug activity from some of the narcotics people in the Tenderloin over the last few weeks, and it’s curtailed the drug trade in the Tenderloin, but does that push it to another neighborhood?” Theresa Sparks, president of the San Francisco Police Commission, said Thursday. “I’d say yes.”
Even as police change their suppression efforts to match crime trends, police Chief Heather Fong said many recent crimes are simply unpreventable.
“A number of these homicides are incidents that don’t match a pattern of gang-related violence. These are people who are strangers or where it was a spontaneous incident or a family-violence type of incident,” she said at Wednesday’s Police Commission meeting.
A deadly week
San Francisco has recorded 10 homicides since Aug. 31 to bring The City’s year-to-date total to 81.
Aug. 31, 2:10 a.m.
U.N. Plaza: Juan Sanchez, 43, found stabbed
Aug. 31, noon
100 block of Sargent Street: Robert Peplies, 45; Linda Almanza, 31, both found stabbed inside a home
Sept. 1, time unknown
Highway 101 near Bayshore Boulevard: Gabriel Bautista, 27, bludgeoned
Sept. 2, 2:35 a.m.
6600 Third St.:Dejohn Maybon, 35, shot coming out of a motel room
Sept. 2, 9:40 a.m
100 block of Velasco Avenue: Byron Smith, 32, chased by two suspects and shot
Sept. 3, 3:45 a.m.
2600 block of San Jose Avenue: John Schirra, 22, stabbed
Sept. 3, 2:30 p.m.
Brookdale Avenue at Santos Street: David Sterling, 26, shot
Sept. 4, 9 p.m.
Giants Drive at Ingerson Avenue: Ali Sayed Ahmed Shahin, 18, of S.F., shot near Monster Park
Sept. 5, 9:20 a.m
Body found at Metson Road and MLK Drive in Golden Gate Park: ID unknown. Victim apparently stabbed while sleeping in the park
– Source: San Francisco Police Department