File photo.

En Español

Police said today that the victim, a white 50-year-old male, was seen on the roof of the Crystal Hotel on Mission Street before falling from it and that a suspect was seen running off the roof.

Police offered no more details.

Witnesses reported Tuesday hearing a man fall from the rooftop of the Crystal Hotel at 2766 Mission St. shortly after 7 p.m.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene and his death was deemed suspicious, according to Officer Keesor who was on the scene.

He said police had the victim’s name, but were not ready to release it.

The homicide team was still investigating the incident at 9:30 p.m. The body, covered with a yellow tarp, lay nearby.

Investigators interviewed several people and kept moving their flashlight beams from the roof of the two-story building to the tree below it and down to the branches that had broken off as the body fell through the tree.

Carl Ray, a 56-year-old man who described himself as homeless, said he heard the body falling through the tree and then the thud when it hit the sidewalk below.

When he looked up at the roof, he said, he saw another man standing there. “Someone dropped him off the roof,” he said offering his theory. When another man asked him why, he said, “because I know people.”

“Today’s the first,” he said. “People get paid.” He added that it is a time when drugs are sold and bought and people overdose. He said it had happened to a friend of his a few years ago on the first of the month.

Police, however, declined to confirm any details and would only say that the death was “suspicious.”

The entrance to the single room occupancy hotel is wedged between a Christian bookstore and a 99 cent store just north of 24th Street.  At the entrance of the bookstore, just a few feet from the body, a sign in Spanish advises, “Believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ and you will be in your house.”

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Rigoberto Hernandez

Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

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5 Comments

  1. I wish I was there … That was my father …

    Drew,
    I can understand that some people find your pictures interesting. However, from a daughters perspective, you have no idea how bad it hurts to see a picture of your father lying on the ground under a tarp on Facebook.

    I hope you don’t take this the wrong way and think that I am chastising you for doing what so many others would. I just hope you know that posting those pictures wasn’t harmless.

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