SF cop killer found guilty, faces life

A 24-year-old man was found guilty of murdering a veteran San Francisco police officer after a high-speed chase in 2006.

The jury deliberated two days before finding Steven Petrilli guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, four counts of robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, gross vehicular manslaughter, evading police and causing serious bodily injury or death and driving a stolen vehicle. He faces life without the possibility of parole.

Petrilli was driving a stolen van with three other passengers after committing four separate street robberies in the early morning hours of July 26, 2006, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

After leading police on a high-speed chase through The City, the van struck the patrol car of Officer Nick-Tomasito Birco,  who was responding to the area, at the intersection of Cambridge and Felton streets in the Portola district.

Birco, a five-year veteran of the police force, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The case was prosecuted by San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Eric Fleming.

Two of Petrilli’s passengers are also awaiting trial for murder. Charges against the third passenger, Petrilli’s wife, were dropped.

Fleming worked tirelessly to bring the suspect to justice, District Attorney Kamala Harris said in a released statement.

“We are saddened by Officer Birco’s death and hope that this verdict brings a sense of peace and closure to Officer Birco’s family and members of the San Francisco Police Department,” Harris stated.

Petrilli’s attorney could not be reached for comment. The case is next in court at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 22 to set the sentencing date.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLocalNEP

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

San Francisco Giants pitcher Anthony DeSclafani (26) starts against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on April 11, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Giants finish sweep of Rockies behind DeSclafani’s scoreless outing

Even with fans back at Oracle Park, San Francisco Giants pitchers have… Continue reading

Kindergarten teacher Chris Johnson in his classroom at Bryant Elementary School ahead of the school’s reopening on Friday, April 9, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD students are going back to the classroom

After more than a year of distance learning, city schools begin reopening on Monday

Keith Zwölfer, director of education for SFFILM, stays busy connecting filmmakers and studios with public, private and home schools<ins>.</ins><ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner) </ins>
Streamlined SF film festival focuses on family features

In the early days of the San Francisco International Film Festival, the… Continue reading

“Gay Passover,” a fun Haggadah, includes some cocktail recipes. <ins>(Courtesy Saul Sugarman)</ins>
A Passover journey toward something different

It was nice to see my family, and I look forward to reconnecting with friends

Oakland A’s left fielder Tony Kemp fielded a fly but missed the catch in the April 5 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Oakland Coliseum. <ins>(Chris Victorio/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Bay Area sports for week of April 11, 2021

A look at the upcoming major Bay Area sports events (schedules subject… Continue reading

Most Read