Community Grieves New Wave of Violence

Community residents visit memorials for the two victims.

Community residents visit memorials for the two victims.

Francisco Cornejo and Francisco Peña, the two victims of a shooting spree in which police suspect gang activity, spent Sunday afternoon watching the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks on Peña’s 43-inch television in the Mission District apartment he shared with his mother.

Makeshift Memorial for the Victims of Sunday's Shooting

A makeshift memorial for the victims of Sunday's shooting.

At some point, the men walked eight blocks to Papa Potrero’s Pizza on 24th Street and Potrero Avenue to grab something to eat.

“He was with the other friend who also died there,” said Peña’s mother, who did not want to be identified.

Around 4 p.m., shots were fired inside the pizza parlor. Witnesses said that along with other diners, the 26-year-old Cornejo ran from the restaurant, collapsed a few feet away, and died on 24th Street.

The 41-year-old Peña died at the hospital, and a third victim, who has not been identified, remains in the hospital recovering from non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.

Police said on Monday that Andrés Siordia, 19, was one of two suspects arrested within minutes of the shooting. Siordia, who was questioned earlier in the weekend about Friday night’s shooting, will be charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, according to police. A second suspect, a 16-year-old, is in juvenile custody.

Family and friends of the two men who were fatally shot said the victims were not affiliated with gangs. Others disagreed, and police said the Friday and Sundays shootings — the first three homicides of the year in the Mission District — were gang-related.

Peña’s mother spoke to reporters at her home on Monday. “My son received two shots. One in the heart,” she said as she sat in her living room, still taking in the events of the last 24 hours. “I think that’s the one that killed him.”

Peña, who neighbors said was well liked, had a 7-month-old son and worked as a delivery truck driver.

Neighbor Justin Fraser, 39, said that he and Peña, who many knew as Frank, bonded over being new fathers. Peña’s only son, Frank Jr., was born in February.

“The first thing you see when you look at Frank is that he’s a rough- and tough-looking guy,” said Fraser. “He was also a father, a neighbor, a friend, and a good guy.”

As police swarmed the area on Monday, families coped with the loss of two men, and the reality that at least one other young man from the neighborhood was a murder suspect.

Siordia’s grandmother said she was at a nearby restaurant on Sunday when  she saw several men, including her grandson, running down 24th Street.

“I asked him, ‘What’s going on?” and he said, ‘Oh, there are shots being fired over there,’” Siordia’s grandmother said Monday. “I said go inside and don’t come out.”

Minutes later, several armed police entered Casa Sanchez along 24th Street looking for suspects. They later arrested Siordia in his house, his grandmother said.

Police were asking him, “Why were you running?” his grandmother said. “Well anybody would run. They were not going to stand [where shots are being fired].”

The 72-year-old woman, who helped raised Siordia, said detectives arrested her grandson and then returned later Sunday evening to search her home. Siordia called her Monday morning and said he would be in court in two days.

The suspect’s grandmother showed reporters the piles of clothes, shoes and notebooks police scattered during the search of her two-story home.

The grandmother  talked about the Friday shooting, saying Siordia was out celebrating the completion of his GED. He was riding in the limousine where Michael Sanchez, a repeated violator of the city’s gang injunction, according to police, was shot and killed.

“He said he didn’t know anything. He was inside the limousine … a car drove by and pop, pop, pop,” she said, describing Friday’s shooting.

A blue graduation gown and a picture of Jesus hung on his bedroom door. He had begun work at a recycling company, a job he found through the school GED program, she said.

His grandmother said she now fears for his life.

“I don’t know if it’s better for him to be [in jail] or to come home,” she said, putting her face in her hands.

Just a few blocks away from the suspect’s home, friends and family of the 26-year-old Cornejo created a memorial on 24th Street, setting out religious candles and bouquets with stargazers, red and white roses, and carnations. Passersby stopped to look at the memorial. One woman made a cross over her forehead as she walked by.

“It’s really sad,” said Cesar, a local resident who did not know Cornejo but heard about the killings. “The loss is regrettable.”

Two of Cornejo’s friends stared at the memorial, still shocked at the news.

“I found out today. I’m angry at the way it was handled. They say he was exposed for a while, ” said Jesse Tello, referring to Cornejo’s body, which on Sunday was left for hours on the sidewalk, covered with a yellow tarp.

24memorialclose“He was a good guy. Realistically, he didn’t get involved in any gang activity. He was a cool-ass person. He was always laughing, always joking,” said Tello, who had known Cornejo since elementary school.

Also there was Karina Ek, who described Cornejo as an outgoing and spontaneous man who worked various jobs.

“He loved sports. Giants’ games and Niners’ games. That’s how I usually would catch him,” added Tello.

A second memorial for both men was put up at George’s Market near Peña’s lifelong home on the corner of 24th and Shotwell streets. There, dismayed friends placed flowers. From late afternoon until evening, friends and passersby stopped at the makeshift memorial where photographs of the two men were placed side by side.

One man, a self-identified Norteño gang member, told Mission Loc@l reporters that the victims were not affiliated with gangs but were well known in the community.

“Frank [Peña] is not a gang member,” the man said.

Peña was described by his mother as a loving father and devoted sports fan who passionately cheered for the 49ers during games.

“I use to tell him be quiet, be quiet. There’s no need to scream,” Peña’s mother recalled.

“He’d tell me, ‘Mom, we’re winning.’”

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Homicide Detail (415-553-1145) during regular business hours and/or the Confidential Tip Line (415-575-4444). Callers may also use Text-a-Tip to remain anonymous.

Vanessa Carr and Amanda Martinez contributed to this report.

Filed under: Front Page, Trouble

31 Comments

  1. AA

    Rest with the angels Pancho. You will always leave an imprint in my life and I’m grateful I have many memories with you to keep with me forever.

  2. E & E

    Rest in Paradise Frank. You will alway be within our hearts and your wonderful spirit will live on within Frank Jr.

  3. E & E

    Rest in paradise Frank. Your memory will stay alive within our hearts and your wonderful spirit will live on within Frank Jr.

  4. E&E

    Rest in paradise Frank. Your memory will stay alive in our hearts and your wonderful spirit will live on. My condolences to your Mother and family.

  5. xicana wombyn

    Rest in Power
    END BARRIO WARFARE

  6. Moe

    I knew frank we went to same high school.when I seen the 6:00 o’clock news I was stung!I like 2 know when is memorial or funeral 2 pay my repect.

  7. Moe

    I new frank we went to the same high school,didn’t know it was him til they release his name n still I didn’t believe it his him til they showed his picture.I seen him 4 weeks ago he was making his rounds.delivering) he told me how happy he was that he had a son to carry on his name. My prAyers go out to his family,would like to know when he’s memorial or funeral is to pay my repect .:(

  8. LC

    Rest in Peace Cisco. May you find peace and serenity….xoxox

  9. Cisco was a very beautiful person. He might have looked big and tough but he was sweet and gentle inside. I remember me and him chillin at my sisters house when my little neice got really sick and had to be rushed to the hospital…..He was so worried and wanted to make sure she was ok. My sister was pissed cuz we were both passed out from drinkin up and I think she just kinda freaked out and took it out on us….I thought he was gonna get pissed cuz she was yelling at us to get up and crying but he wasnt mad at all…if anything he jumped up and asked my sister “Is there anything I can do?”. Cisco, I am so sorry I was such a bitch last time I seen you….you know how I am babe….please rest in peace…you are now in a better place and I will see you when I get there papa.

  10. CEE

    RIP PANCHO WE WILL MISS YOU AND WE WILL MAKE SURE TO TELL FRANK JR HOW GREAT OF A FATHER YOU WERE. WATCH OVER US AND PRAY FOR US AS YOU ARE IN A BETTER PLACE NOW, RIP TO CISCO THE GOOD DIE YOUNG

  11. Thanks for reading the story and posting your comments. We’ll try to find out when and where the memorial will be held. Rosa.

  12. Val

    I knew Cornejo since I was in elementry school. It breaks my heart to know I’ll never see his smile or hear his jokes again. To me he wasn’t francisco but Gerble. That’s what we called him when we played football together for the Mission playground Bulldogs. He will forever be missed + loved dearly.

  13. Jay

    I live across the street from Frank, he always said to me everyday i saw him ” Was up, how’s work going”, he had the respect of everyone that knew him and I’m going to miss him asking me “Was up”

  14. Frank, I remember talking with you about all the stuff I do with Christopher and how you wanted to be that way with your son, how you wanted to play football and baseball with him.It kills me to know you won’t experience that.Frank, WE LOVE YOU !!! You ARE a great person and will make sure lil Frank will know that. WE’ll truly miss you. You will forever be in our hearts.Vaya con Dios. Chris Betty and family

  15. Tami

    I’m sorry this happened to you Frank. May you find eternal peace. I couldn’t have imagined that this would have happened to you. I’m still shocked. To think we were just talking about your brother (Lucas) 4 weeks ago. May God give your mother & your brother Nelson the strength to cope with their loss.

  16. patricia

    I want to thank, everyone for condolences their prayers and thoughs. He was my little brother and was a good guy, and a good father to my nephew lil frank, as he called him. Thanks for the wonderful comments you all have made, those who knew Frank, also knew he was not affiliated with any gangs. thank you, Patricia

  17. the sheppards

    My husband and I live on the same block of Shotwell and both knew Mr. Pena as a good neighbor and father. We extend our sympathy to his family.

  18. SHOTWELL24TH

    FRANK YOU WERE LIKE A LIL BROTHER TO US ALL I NEW YOU FOR OVER 35 YEARS AND IT MAKES ME SO SICK TO HEAR ALL THESE REPORTERS SAYING YOU WERE A GANGBANGER. EVERYONE ON SHOTWELL KNOWS THIS IS NOT TRUE. WE ALL WOULD WERE RED OR BURGUNDY, RED AND WHITE,ORANGE AND WHITE, BLACK AND ORANGE, GOLD AND BLUE, WE ALL GREW UP AS 49ER,GIANTS, AND WARRIORS FANS. THERE WAS NO COLORS TO PICK GROWING UP WE LOVED OUR TEAMS AND BECAUSE THE COLOR OF CHOICE BY NORTENO’S IS RED THESE REPORTERS ARE SAYING YOU AND CISCO ARE GANGBANGERS. WERE YOU CALLED A BANGER WHEN YOU WERE FITTED UP IN GIANTS GEAR,OR WARRIORS GEAR. OR IS IT BECAUSE YOU WERE RAISED IN THE MISSION LOVED THE 49ERS AND WORE A RED THROWBACK JESSIE SAPOLU JERSEY, IS THAT WHAT MADE YOU A GANGBANGER. THESE REPORTERS HAVE TO GET THERE STORIES STRAIGHT. OTHER WISE THE POLICE SHOULD GO TO A 49ER HOME GAME AND ARREST HALF THE FANS THAT ARE DRESSED THE SAME WAY OR IS IT YOU CAN ONLY DRESS LIKE THIS AT THE GAME. I LOVE AND MISS YOU FRANK. YOUR BRO JUNIOR 1 OF THE ORIGINALS WHO GREW UP ON SHOTWELL

  19. SHONE

    REST IN PEACE YOUNG GERB YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. REST IN PARADISE MY MISSION PARK NIGGA.

  20. foo

    All the people who insist that it wasn’t a gang thing…then what the hell was it? You guys have info? Tell the cops the real story instead of complaining they don’t know. I’m tired of this attitude when people get shot. Start snitching! This happened in broad daylight, if it wasn’t gangs do I need to worry that some guy in a limo is going to drive up and shoot me too?

  21. Eva

    RIP my nicoya, homeboy; Frank

    May GOD Bless You and Your Family.

    You were a good person and I was lucky
    to have met you.

    “GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN”

    from bossynicoya

  22. Orlando Torriente

    This is a sad commentary on the state of our county and the state of the world. some folks ask if this was gang related or not as if that makes it any more or less acceptable. Somewhere along the line we have created tag words that are supposed to help us accept the unacceptable. if a murder happens and we attach the tag “durg related” or “gang related” it somhow makes us feel like well these folks were asking for it or hey its is ok if this crime goes unresolved. I pesonally knew both of these young men having been the director at Mission Playgrgound and coaching one and watching the other grow up in his beloved Mission District. I do not know what the reasoning was for an act of violence so devistating but I do know this problem is alot deeper than some of us want to admit and is it getting worse every year how will we as a community address this issue and how will we as a society stop sweeping the problem under the rug by just attaching silly lables in order to clear our concience of the responsibility to stop this violence whether its “gang realated homocides at home or “Killing insurgents abroad” murder is murder and it must be stopped.Ya basta con la violencia caballeros!

  23. SHONE

    REST IN PARADISE YOUNG GERBIL. REST A SURE YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.MAY GOD BLESS AND CONSOLE YOUR FAMILY THROUGH THIS.

  24. RAQUEL BARRERA

    I COULDN’T BELIEVE MY EARS WHEN I RECEIVED THE PHONE CALL..CISCOS BEEN KILLED.IM LIKE WHAT??!! NO!!! WE HAD SEEN HIM A FEW WEEKS BEFORE SAYING HE GOT SHOT AT AND GOT AWAY. ILL NEVER FORGET THE FEAR IN HIS EYES. WE TOLD HIM TO GO HOME AND TO BE CAREFUL. THEN I SEE HIS ASS LATER ON IN MCDONALDS BY THE BALL PARK. I HEAR MY NAME AND WHO DO I SEE..CISCO.IM LIKE I TOUGHT I TOLD UR ASS TO GO HOME!! HE WAS A COOL GUY..AND HAD A BIG HEART.ALWAYS PLAYING AROUND.HE WOULD CLOWN ME AND SAY OH UR FAT THIS N THAT.ID BE LIKE IM FAT BUT UR FATTER THEN ME!!! IT WAS ALL FUN AND GAMES. WE WOULD PLAY FIGHT AND HE WOULD PICK ME UP AND DIP ME.WE HAD SOME GOOD TIMES.GOD REST HIS SOUL.YOU WILL FOREVER BE MISSED “FATTY”. AND R.I.P RANK..YOU GUYS WERE GOOD MEN AND DIDN’T DESERVE THIS!!!!! THEY SAY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG.WATCH OVER US OUR FALLEN ANGELS..I LOVE YOU CISCO..

  25. Jon

    I used to live a couple doors down from Frank. Super friendly guy, was always nice to my wife and me. Rest in peace.

    For all you Nortenos and Surenos reading this, cut it out. Life is beautiful, and you make a mockery of it.

    Jon

  26. paula

    i just want to say that i new frank sence i was lil he was a friend of my brother they grow up together hes like a big brother to me i luv u and miss u ,u are in a better place i will see u up there R.I.P

  27. paula

    all this is so said i miss y cisco i new cisco when he was a little shit in mission play ground my 2girls grown up calling him cuzin to the day he passed he was like a uncle to my kids when ever he seen them he would send them home and tell them that he was going to call me he is a very sweet and outing person always being a smart ass i just was with him 2 days before my girls are very sad they said mom whos going to watch me and send me home now and tell on me i told them he still watching u and still loves u guys cisco i love u and miss u and u will never be forgoten R.I.P XOXOX

  28. Aida

    Wow i don’t know wat to say this is sad to deal with. Cisco was a very special friend to me we had fun times togeather I can’t beleive he’s gone but he will never be forgotten everyone is gonna miss his jokes and his smile.RIP Cisco we’ll miss u

  29. Tina

    Rest In Paradise Cisco and Frank. You will never be forgotten. My prayers go out to you and your families…God bless

  30. Azucena "Cena" Amador

    My prayers & sincere heartfelt sympathy I send to both families. I am so very sorry to all the family & friends these two men have left behind. May you find comfort in knowing that they rest peacefully in Our Heavenly Fathers arm watching over you all and knowing that they will never be forgotten.

  31. maria

    I just found out about this…im so shocked and upset. U walked into my life two years ago and we last talked in july of 2009. I cant believe ur gone.I remember me pickn u up at the bart half way to mantea! lol and ur impala and late night convos while u were working at ur city job.We shared alot of special time together…your missed and in my heart forever….love always maria

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