(Courtesy image)

Violent crime claims 3 homicide victims over Christmas weekend

Three people were killed over the Christmas weekend in San Francisco in unrelated violent crimes.

Luis Velasquez-Mejia, 26, was found by police with a gunshot wound on the 500 block of Naples Street in the Excelsior neighborhood on Saturday at 11:45 p.m. He died at the scene.

Police executed a search warrant on the 2800 block of 24th Street on Sunday at 11 p.m. that resulted in a three-hour standoff before the arrest of Jonathan Escobar, 22, on suspicion of murdering Velasquez-Mejia.

Early Christmas Eve, at 1:15 a.m., 32-year-old Jovan Reed died after being shot and crashing his car in the 1300 block of Evans Avenue, near Youngblood-Coleman Playground in the Bayview neighborhood. Police responded to the scene after being alerted to a gunshot by the shot spotter system. No arrests have been reported in his death.

The same evening, at 5:38 p.m., 64-year-old Christine Moyer was found stabbed to death on the 400 block of Jessie Street between Sixth and Mint streets in the South of Market neighborhood.

Seven hours later, a 46-year-old woman was stabbed on the first block of Third Street and transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. She was still in critical condition as of Wednesday afternoon, hospital officials said.

Police officers identified a 27-year-old transient man, Michael Jacob, as matching a description of the suspect in the second incident and arrested him on suspicion of attempted murder. Homicide investigators are now attempting to determine if the two stabbings are related, police said.

The three deaths brought the total number of homicides in San Francisco this year to 46, still significantly fewer than the 56 reported in 2017. The lowest totals reported in the past decade were in 2009 and 2014, when 45 homicides were reported.

Monday was a deadly day in The City even without the homicides. Two people, Michael Hooker, 83, and Connie Hooker, 69, died after being rescued from a fatal fire in Presidio Heights that started shortly before 1 a.m. on Monday. Later in the day, shortly after 11 p.m., 58-year-old San Francisco resident Michael Castellino died after his vehicle collided with a pole near City College.

mtoren@sfexaminer.com

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