Holiday killings escalate S.F. murder rate 

A 34-year-old man was shot and killed early Wednesday morning near the Ocean View Recreation Center, bringing The City’s homicide total to 20 this year.

The early-morning killing continues a string of homicides and shootings that occurred over the holiday weekend. There have been four reported homicides and a half-dozen shootings across The City since Friday. Additionally, there were roughly 17 robberies or attempted robberies and a couple of stabbings.

The City’s homicide total for 2007 has now reached 20, far outpacing the average to date of the last three years. In 2006, there were10 killings reported in January and February. In 2005, there were 15, and in 2004, there were 13.

There were 85 homicides in The City in 2006 and 96 in 2005. In 2004, there were 88.

The period between 2004 and 2006 has seen the highest number of homicides in The City since the mid-1990s, when 82 homicides were reported in 1996 and 99 in 1995.

Last week, Mayor Gavin Newsom said he has failed in his efforts to stem the homicides. On Wednesday, he said the number of officers working in The City’s gang task force and specialty units have been increased to "saturate areas" with the highest crime rates.

"That all being said, we recognize that in our camp, it’s not a place of peace, and you can put police officers on every corner, and it’s not going to stop a lot of the crime and violence," Newsom said.

Police have said the recent murders seem to be retaliatory shootings.

"These don’t seem to be random acts of violence," San Francisco police Sgt. Steve Mannina said. "Some of the homicides involved are part of drug violence, gang violence and domestic violence. Homicides run in cycles or go in waves. We may have three in one weekend, then we may go a month without having one."

Some of the recent incidents occurred within hours of each other and within the same areas, causing police to investigate whether they are connected. Extra police patrols were deployed in the area of the Ocean View Recreation Center on Tuesday night in an effort to prevent recent violence in the Ingleside district from continuing, according to police, as well as a continued presence in the Western Addition, where two homicides and several shootings alarmed the community last week.

Police found 34-year-old Marvin Evans, of San Francisco, lying near the intersection of Broad Street and Capital Avenue shortly after midnight Wednesday, Mannina said. Evans was pronounced dead on the scene. About an hour before Evans was killed, another man was sitting in his car near Arch and Shields streets when he was shot at multiple times. He was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Mannina said.

In a third incident early Tuesday morning, two men were shot at near 19th Avenue and Byxbee Street. One man remained in critical condition Wednesday. Hours before that shooting, another man was shot at multiple times on the 400 block of Alemany Boulevard.

arocha@examiner.com

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