Shootings increase homicide tally

The City’s homicide count continued to climb over the weekend as two men were gunned down late Saturday night in apparently unrelated shootings.

About 10:15 p.m., police arrived near the Japan Center in Japantown on a call of shots fired. Ajason Black, a 31-year-old Oakland man, was shot at Geary Boulevard and Buchanan Street. He ran across the street before collapsing, and was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived, according to police.

About 30 minutes later, officers responded to the 1000 block of Connecticut Street in The City’s Potrero Hill neighborhood on reports of shots fired. Police found 41-year-old Victor Carson, a San Francisco resident, suffering a gunshot wound to his neck, according to police.

Carson was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead just after 11 p.m., according to the Medical Examiner’s Office. No arrests have been made in connection with either shooting and police have not released any suspect information.

The two killings bring the homicide total in San Francisco to 39 in 2008. At this same juncture in 2007, when The City tallied a decade-high 98 homicides, there were four fewer homicides. The killings in The City are on pace to surpass last year’s total, but San Francisco’s per capita murder rate is lower than at least two other Bay Area cities.

Oakland’s murder rate is more than twice that of San Francisco. The city across the Bay — with roughly half the population of San Francisco — has already tallied 44 homicides in 2008. In Richmond, a city ofabout 100,000 people that regularly has one of the highest per capita murder rates in the country, 11 people have been killed so far.

San Francisco’s murder rate is much higher than that of San Jose, which has tallied 13 homicides in a city larger by about 200,000 people.

bbegin@examiner.com

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