Four teenagers have been arrested in connection with the killing of 16-year-old Andy Zeng inside a home in The City’s Silver Terrace neighborhood.
Police were called to a house in the 2100 block of Quesada Avenue around 4:30 a.m. Sunday. A resident told cops he smelled some type of gas coming from the bottom-floor unit of the two-unit home, according to reports from police and neighbors.
Police said the call came in as a suicide, but after arriving at the scene investigators ruled the death a homicide.
Rumors were circulating among some neighbors Monday that Zeng’s body was discovered with a bag over his head. Police, however, would not confirm that and they have not released details on how Zeng was killed.
Not long after cops found Zeng, a 15-year-old boy was arrested and charged with murder, attempted arson and conspiracy, police spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield said.
The three others — ages 15, 17 and 18 — were arrested and charged with attempted arson and conspiracy, and one faces an additional charge of destruction of evidence, Dangerfield said.
Dangerfield said some type of liquid accelerant, either kerosene or gasoline, was found at the scene. Police are still investigating the relationships between the suspects and the victim, all San Francisco residents, and the motive for the killing, he said.
A fifth suspect, also a teenage male, remained out of custody at press time Monday.
Neighbors expressed shock at the killing, but were reluctant to have their identities published. They said rarely do they see police activity on the block, adding that it is somewhat sheltered from the violence and gang activity that occur in other parts of the neighborhood.
One neighbor said residents often can’t hear the gunshots or police sirens over the rumbling of cars on nearby Interstate 280.
A woman living down the street from the home where Zeng was found said the tenants were relatively new to the building. The neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, said a man in his 50s lived in the unit with his family, which included a son who was about 18 years old.
According to other neighbors, the son had been involved with the “wrong crowd,” and youths had recently been congregating in front of the home. Several neighbors said they were wary of the teens.
Ari Burack contributed to this story.