Shooting near Civic Center Sunday ends in Oakland crash 

click to enlarge One of two shootings near the Civic Center, where the Pride celebration took place Sunday, ended in a chase across the Bay Bridge and a crash into a West Oakland church. - BAY CITY NEWS SERVICE
  • Bay City News Service
  • One of two shootings near the Civic Center, where the Pride celebration took place Sunday, ended in a chase across the Bay Bridge and a crash into a West Oakland church.

These suspects apparently had an urgent need to repent.

A shooting near the Civic Center in San Francisco on Sunday night led to a police pursuit across the Bay Bridge that ended when the suspects' silver Mazda crashed into a West Oakland church.

The wild chase began after gunfire was reported at Leavenworth and McAllister streets about 8:30 p.m., as the Pride Parade celebration was winding down, Sgt. Dennis Toomer said. No one was injured in the shooting.

Responding officers spotted a silver Mazda leaving the area. They tried to pull the vehicle over on the Bay Bridge but the car sped off and a gun was tossed from the vehicle, Toomer said. The weapon has been recovered by police, he added.

Police lost the Mazda at Market Street and West Grand Avenue in Oakland but the car crashed through a wall of Joshua Christian Church about two blocks away, coming to a stop inside the building.

One female and two male suspects were arrested near the vehicle, and a third male was taken into custody near 22nd and Curtis streets, Toomer said.

Despite the destruction, the church's pastor, Donald Scurry, joked the driver must have really wanted to make it to the morning service on time. All kidding aside, Scurry said the driver appeared to lose control while speeding. No one was inside the church at the time, he said.

All four suspects were booked on suspicion of possessing a concealed firearm, possessing stolen property and participating in a criminal street gang.

The driver, 21-year-old Ruben Villegas of Oakland, was also booked on charges of evading police in a vehicle, violating probation and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The other three suspects were identified as Christian Bravo, 21, of San Francisco; Sonia Medrano, 28, of Burlingame; and Jesus Campos, 24, of San Lorenzo.

The shooting was the second in the Civic Center area Sunday.

About 6:35 p.m., just minutes after the official closing time of the Pride celebration, two men were shot in the leg in the area of Larkin and Grove streets. No arrests have been made in that incident.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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