Shooting is city's eighth homicide of 2008 

A 36-year-old San Francisco resident died early Wednesday after the occupants of a passing car opened fire on him as he drove down a Bayview district street.

A witness heard gunshots about 10:20 p.m. Tuesday in the 1000 block of Fitzgerald Avenue, according to police Sgt. Steve Mannina. The witness then saw two cars traveling in different directions.

Tony Ia was driving one of the cars as it came to a stop in the middle of the street. He was still alive in the car when police arrived and wasn’t pronounced dead until hours later at San Francisco General Hospital.

Homicide investigators weren’t called to the scene until Wednesday morning, Mannina said. There are no suspects in custody and police are not releasing a description of the suspect vehicle, which fled the scene at high speed, Mannina said.

The killing is San Francisco’s eighth so far in 2008, which is lower than the 13 total homicides recorded in January 2007. The City’s homicide rate was a focus of discussion at the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee meeting Monday.

Lt. Mikail Ali of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice told city legislators that the drop in homicides in January 2008 was a sign of progress, but Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said the decline in homicides could have a lot to do with the rainy weather.

"Weather appears to always have a factor in some of the crimes that we’re seeing," Ali confirmed. "When the weather is really good, we see increases in criminal activity."

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Brent Begin

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