Two recent killings in Oceanview linked, say police

The recent slayings of two men in the Oceanview neighborhood are believed to be connected, according to acting Chief Toney Chaplin.

Chaplin gave few other details at a San Francisco Police Commission meeting on Wednesday night about the killings in an area that hasn’t seen that type of activity in years.

Neighbors and Supervisor John Avalos, who presides over the neighborhood, hope the uptick in violence will spark increased police diligence.

Keron Lamotte was shot to death at about 7 p.m. Friday near Plymouth Avenue and Broad Street. A man in his 50s was wounded in the shooting.

The second victim, 23-year-old Phillip Gaston of San Francisco, was shot and killed Monday evening. Gaston was shot a little after 7:30 p.m. near the 500 block of Head Street.

The killings mark The City’s 43rd and 44th this year.

Gwen Brown, the executive director of Inner City Youth, knew Lamotte and said the killings have raised old fears in a neighborhood that not long ago knew much more violence.

“I just think it’s extremely sad. There has been peace. There hasn’t been homicides and it just brings up a lot of trauma for those of us were here when the numbers were higher,” said Brown. “Why did Keron get killed? Who knows. Was it over something petty? Was it over something personal?”

“In this neighborhood, guys like Keron fall through the cracks all the time,” Brown said of Lamotte, whose family recently sold the home where he lived.

Meanwhile, Avalos held a community meeting Wednesday night to address community concerns about the recent violence.

“Everyone sees what happened as a tragedy, some people feel unsafe,” he said, noting that while the killings remain unsolved, some in the neighborhood feel unsettled.

Avalos said there have been few homicides in the area since he became supervisor and that crime, in general, has declined — even though the area has a history of violence.

Avalos hopes a new police substation can return to the area after being shuttered some years ago.

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