Spirited Bosnian refugee mourned

Ernad Joldic first came to The City with his parents as a young child, escaping the violence of a conflict on the other side of the world.Almost two decades later, the Bosnian refugee succumbed to an entirely different type of violence, gunned down with his friend in the streets of San Francisco.

Friends and teachers from Gateway High School, where the 21-year-old once served as senior class president, called Joldic a math wizard with a revolutionary spirit, always outspoken about the atrocities committed in his homeland.

Philip Ng, a soft-spoken 24-year-old San Francisco native and DJ, was among Joldic’s close friends; the two would often spend late nights out, driving around and socializing. Early Saturday morning, after a typical night out, tragedy struck as the two were leaving a friend’s house in the quiet Excelsior neighborhood where Joldic used to live.

Both men were sitting in the front seat of Ng’s car on the 200 block of Athens Street about 1:45 a.m. when a man fired several shots into the vehicle. Joldic died instantly and Ng would die later at San Francisco General Hospital. A third occupant was able to escape out the back door and run from the shooter.

Police are calling the double-homicide a mystery. Despite several interviews with the surviving witness, investigators have been unable to uncover a motive, Deputy Chief David Shinn, head of the investigations bureau, told The Examiner on Wednesday. Police are calling on anybody who may have seen a vehicle drop off the suspect, described only as a Hispanic man, to come forward.

Isa Northcutt-Lemon, who said she first met Joldic during their freshman year at Gateway, said he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt with big eyeglasses and his hair slicked back.

“He was a quintessential nerd, but he walked around with confidence,” she said.

Joldic immediately gained the trust of his peers, who would later vote him senior class president. Gateway Principal Sharon Olken called the homicide a “senseless loss” of a young man who was “charismatic and positive and talented.”

He attended San Francisco State University after high school, and always held out the hope of returning to a more settled Bosnia.

A return to his homeland came sooner than expected. Joldic was shipped overseas in a coffin Thursday for a traditional Muslim burial.

bbegin@examiner.com

Just Posted

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the U.S. (Shutterstock)
Why California teens need mental illness education

SB 224 calls for in-school mental health instruction as depression and suicide rates rise

Ahmad Ibrahim Moss, a Lyft driver whose pandemic-related unemployment benefits have stopped, is driving again and relying on public assistance to help make ends meet. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
How much does gig work cost taxpayers?

Some drivers and labor experts say Prop. 22 pushed an undue burden on to everyday taxpayers.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who visited the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 6 headquarters on Recall Election Day, handily won after a summer of political high jinks.	<ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Lessons from a landslide: Key takeaways from California’s recall circus

‘After a summer of half-baked polls and overheated press coverage, the race wasn’t even close’

The Kimpton Buchanan Hotel in Japantown could become permanent supportive housing if The City can overcome neighborhood pushback. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Nimbytown: Will SF neighborhoods allow vacant hotels to house the homeless?

‘We have a crisis on our hands and we need as many options as possible’

Most Read