Kelvin Chew was shot a short distance away from his Portola home after he went out for a walk. (Courtesy Community Youth Center of San Francisco)

Son of Chinese immigrants, 19, fatally shot in suspected robbery gone awry

Nonprofit fundraises for family of college student Kelvin Chew

A San Francisco family is in shock after their 19-year-old son went outside on a walk and never returned.

Kelvin Chew was shot and killed near his home in Portola last month when two men allegedly tried to rob him.

“Kelvin was just finishing a class on Zoom and just wanted to get some fresh air,” said community organizer Sarah Wan. “He didn’t come back.”

Now, Wan and the nonprofit Community Youth Center of San Francisco are fundraising to help support the family. A GoFundMe page has brought in more than $22,000 to help the parents as of Friday afternoon.

Chew was found suffering from a gunshot wound on the sidewalk near Felton and Colby streets at around 8:02 p.m. on May 7, according to police. He died at the scene.

Chew was the son of a working class Chinese immigrant family. He enrolled at City College of San Francisco after graduating from Balboa High School, and planned to study computer science and engineering at UC Santa Cruz this fall.

His younger sister was also expected to start at a UC school next semester studying computer science.

The day of the shooting, his mother went to look for him when he did not come home to play computer games with his sister, according to Wan.

His mother found police at the crime scene several minutes away from their home.

“She felt like her dream has been shattered,” Wan said.

Two suspects have been arrested and charged in the case.

Fagamalama Pasene, 26, and Zion Young, 19, are being held without bail on various charges including murder and attempted robbery, according to jail records.

Sylvia Cediel, a deputy public defender and attorney for Young, said her client entered a not guilty plea Thursday and denied all allegations.

“This is a truly tragic situation for the families and communities of these young men, one of whom lost his life and two of whom now stand accused of taking it,” Cediel said.

An attorney for Pasene did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The homicide marked the 17th killing of the year in San Francisco.

At the Police Commission on Wednesday, Police Chief Bill Scott said there have been 19 homicides so far this year compared to 17 at the same time in 2019. Eleven of the homicides involved firearms.

More than half of the killings have been in three police districts: Bayview, Mission and Ingleside, Scott said. And many have the victims have been black and brown people of color.

A police spokesperson, however, said Friday that there had been 20 homicides rather than 19.

Chew was killed in an area covered by Bayview Police Station and represented by Supervisor Hillary Ronen.

Ronen said she has not been able to reach the family but would “love to offer support and assistance.”

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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