The slayings of three men during the weekend has put San Francisco on pace with last year’s murder toll.
The weekend killings bring The City’s 2008 homicide tally to 81. Last year, San Francisco had 82 killings at this time and eventually reached a decade high of 98 homicides.
On Sunday, officers in the Tenderloin were searching for an assailant who stabbed 59-year-old Ralph Ruiz to death during a 10:45 a.m. argument on Hyde Street.
Tenderloin Police Station Capt. Gary Jimenez said witnesses had come forward in the brazen daylight killing and police had obtained evidence from video cameras.
“Our plainclothes and uniformed officers have been canvassing the neighborhood and we believe we may be close on his trail,” Jimenez said. “By following the cameras, we have the impression he’s still in the neighborhood.”
Ruiz, a San Francisco resident was unarmed, Jimenez said.
San Francisco police Sgt. Wilfred Williams described the alleged killer as a white man between 55-60 years old, 5 feet 2 inches, with a stocky build, white hair and a white beard. The man was last seen wearing blue jeans, a blue denim jacket and a white T-shirt.
The slaying followed separate shootings in Bayview-Hunters Point on Saturday that left two men dead.
Police say a person in dark clothing and a ski mask gunned down 59-year-old Calvin Fennell outside public-housing projects on the 100 block of Kiska Road at 10:45 p.m. The assailant ran away and there have been no arrests, Williams said. Fennel was a San Francisco resident.
A neighbor in the complex, speaking on condition of anonymity, said four or five shots rang out before emergency personnel found the man bleeding on some stairs near his housing unit. He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died, police said.
Police say the weekend violence began Saturday morning when they were called to the 1700 block of Newcomb Avenue at 6:30 a.m. on a report of shots fired. There, they found a young man, identified by the Medical Examiner’s Office as 26-year-old San Francisco resident Darius Cooper, suffering from gunshot wounds. He was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died, Williams said.
Police are also looking for two suspects responsible for a separate double-shooting in the Bayview District on Sunday night. Police said that two suspects, both black males, attempted to rob two men at the 1000 block of Gilman Avenue.
After refusing to give up any money, the two victims were both shot by one of the suspects, police said. One of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries in the shooting, while the other remains hospitalized at San Francisco General Hospital in stable condition.
No arrests have been made in any of the cases.