The Hall of Justice building at 850 Bryant St. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

SF man charged with murder, accused of shooting friend in the neck

A 22-year-old man accused of fatally shooting his friend in the neck Saturday night in San Francisco’s Excelsior neighborhood has been charged by prosecutors with murder.

Jonathan Escobar made his first appearance in San Francisco Superior Court Thursday to be arraigned for the fatal shooting of 26-year-old San Francisco resident Luis Velasquez-Mejia.

Escobar, who is from San Francisco and is being represented by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, did not enter a plea and his arraignment was postponed to Monday morning.

According to prosecutors, the night of the shooting, Escobar, Velasquez-Mejia, and a third person identified as Velasquez-Mejia’s cousin, had all attended a birthday party.

The trio then left the party to go to Velasquez-Mejia’s cousin’s house. While on their way to the home, both Escobar and Velasquez-Mejia allegedly discussed doing cocaine, prosecutors said.

Once at the house, Velasquez-Mejia’s cousin began taking a shower when he heard a loud noise and screaming. Escobar then allegedly burst into the bathroom saying, “I killed him, better not snitch,” according to prosecutors.

Velasquez-Mejia’s cousin got out of the shower and saw his cousin lying in a pool of blood. At that point, Escobar went outside the house and allegedly began pacing back and forth, saying, “don’t snitch on me, I got to go see my mom. I can’t go to jail.”

The victim’s cousin, however, proceeded to call 911, and Escobar allegedly fled. Velasquez-Mejia was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The next day, investigators identified Escobar as the shooting suspect and located him at a home in the 2800 block of 24th Street in San Francisco.

Escobar, however, allegedly refused to surrender to police and escaped through a window and onto the roof of the building. Once on the roof, he put his legs over the edge and threatened to jump, prosecutors said.

After a two-hour standoff, however, officers were able to take Escobar into custody and booked him into jail on suspicion of murder.

Prosecutors allege Escobar used a semi-automatic handgun during the shooting, but it was not clear if police recovered the weapon.

According to prosecutors, Escobar has been arrested numerous times before for “assaultive type conduct,” but has never been convicted.

Additionally, he’s allegedly prohibited from carrying a firearm due to a civil protective order. Escobar, who is from San Francisco and is being represented by the
San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, did not enter a plea and his arraignment was postponed to Monday morning.

Judge Braden C. Woods ordered that Escobar be held without bail.

-Daniel Montes, Bay City News

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