Seventeen-year-old Kyle Chan received his driver’s license on Friday. But his father will never ride with him in the car they were building together. That is because his father, Wayne Chan, was killed along with two of his colleagues at a UPS warehouse in San Francisco June 14.
“In just one day, my whole life changed,” said Kyle Chan, who was the only family member of the three slain men who spoke Sunday in City Hall before more than 1,000 people gathered to memorialize them.
Sunday’s public mourning under City Hall’s rotunda was only one of many similar measures across San Francisco. From makeshift roadside memorials at a shopping center once frequented by one of the UPS workers, to a fence festooned with cards and remembrances outside their Potrero Hill workplace and the site of their deaths.
The three men — Mike Lefiti, 46, Benson Louie, 50, and Wayne Chan, 56 — were killed at around 9 a.m. by their colleague Jimmy Lam, 38, who pushed through a crowd of workers after their morning stretches and opened fire with a stolen Tech-9 type gun. After killing the three men and wounding two others at the UPS warehouse at 320 San Bruno Ave., Lam shot himself. In all, police said Lam fired 20 rounds.
The tone of the memorial was both intimate and broad as politicians, union leaders and family spoke about what these men meant to their families and The City.
Mayor Ed Lee, the first of the dignitaries who spoke, said the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and its workers did more than simply deliver packages for UPS.
“For some reason Teamsters, you have made these jobs more than the menial task of bringing people packages,” said Lee, speaking of the cheer the three men brought with them to work that rubbed off on their customers.
The City’s Congresswoman, Nancy Pelosi, said in part that she hoped the pomp of the occasion could bring some comfort to the families.
“We hope and pray our grand show of our city’s love may give you comfort,” Pelosi said, as the families of the three men listened in the crowd, many wearing the Teamster pins handed out at the door.
Teamster’s Local 2785 Secretary Treasurer Joseph Cilia spoke about first meeting the three men and, over the years, getting to know each of them as family men and quiet leaders.
“All were loyal, family men who provided for their families,” said Cilia. “We will all rebound. Will will recover. Because I know that is what our fellow members would want us to do.”
After the gathering was finished, the large family of Wayne Chan stood in front of City Hall beside the brown UPS truck that Chan had driven. It had been parked there after the memorial. One by one the family climbed into the truck and stood beside the steering wheel and smiled as their pictures were taken. The last of his family to leave the truck patted its side like it was a horse before walking away.
But inside, a reminder of Wayne Chan remained; his name was still taped to the interior in large black lettering.
SFPD Investigation into shooting continues, motive remains unclear
The last update on the shooting’s investigation by the San Francisco Police Department laid out what police have learned about the incident, which they believe was a targeted shooting but still remains unclear in terms of motive.
Police searched Lam’s Richmond district home and found cell phones and a journal, among other things.
The police have reviewed video from the scene, including body camera footage and UPS surveillance footage.
The police also recovered from the scene of the shooting a backpack with additional ammunition and a second gun, a pistol, which was not fired.
An image of Lam, along with the weapons he had at the scene, was released by police when they gave their update June 23.
How Lam got past UPS security, especially the metal detectors, remains unclear, said Rome Aloise, the Vice-President at Large of the Teamsters.
“One way or another that’s the responsibility of the company,” he said, noting that the union and UPS have had conversation about that security issue.
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