Following a rash of killings in the Mission district in recent weeks, a frustrated Mayor Gavin Newsom said he visited the neighborhood Friday night in search of answers.
Instead of answers, however, the mayor received word of yet another fatal shooting in the neighboring Western Addition district. An 18-year-old man, the mayor was told, had been gunned down on a busy stretch of Fillmore Street around 7:15 p.m. Friday.
The shooter, a black man who appeared to be in his 20s, opened fire in front of about 20 witnesses at the intersection of McCallister Street, killing San Francisco resident Joshua Cameron, according to police reports.
Upon hearing of the brazen homicide, Newsom said he rushed to the scene of the crime, hoping to interview witnesses. He didn’t have much luck.
“One [witness] said, ‘Oh, hey, it’s the mayor,’” Newsom said. Still, the witness refused to tell Newsom what he saw, saying he feared for his safety.
So far this year, there have been 11 homicides in the Mission district, including six since Aug. 22.
And even as San Francisco police step up patrols in the neighborhood, the violence continues. Early Saturday morning, a man was shot and injured as he was walking on 23rd Street near Treat Avenue, police said. The suspect reportedly opened fire from a passing car just before 5 a.m.
San Francisco police Chief Heather Fong said Friday that the department would use overtime funds to put additional police in the Mission district.
“But all the law enforcement in the world is not going to create a safer environment,” Newsom said.
The mayor blamed “folks from all over the Bay Area” for causing trouble in The City. He said increasing crime rates in the East Bay and South Bay are spilling into San Francisco.
“It’s miserably frustrating,” Newsom said. “These things just make no sense.”