On the block of 20th St. and South Van Ness Ave., a blood trail started in front of San Jalisco restaurant, across the street to Mr. Pickles. Photo by Alejandro B. Rosas

San Francisco police say they have arrested Sterling Samm, a 20-year-old San Pablo man, and a 14-year-old boy in connection with a fatal shooting at 20th Street and South Van Ness Avenue early Tuesday.

Shortly past midnight, officers responded to reports of a man lying in the street and found the victim, a 20-year-old man whose name has not been released, suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper body. He was taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

After interviewing witnesses, officers detained four people in the area of 21st and Folsom streets. Officers canvassing the area found two handguns and several discarded articles of clothing on Shotwell Street near 20th.

The suspects were booked on charges of murder and firearms possession at the San Francisco County Jail and the Juvenile Justice Center.

Jon Morley, who lives nearby, told Mission Local that he was sleeping when he heard two or three shots. A minute or so later he went to the window.

“Sunday was a very loud night in the Mission with the Giants’ victory, so when I heard the loud noise at midnight last night I hoped it was leftover fireworks or something,” he said.

From his window, he saw a man trying to help the victim.

“I saw the victim resting against the tree. From the moment I saw him he was immobile,” Morley said. “He didn’t move under his own power. I thought he was already dead. He had a fair amount of blood on him; he did not look in a good way.”

“It happened very fast,” Morley said. “The police arrived very quickly, in under five minutes. As far as the city’s response, I was impressed, but it was a sad thing to see. I don’t think anything could have been done, at the speed with which they got to him and got him out of there.”

This is the 10th homicide recorded this year by Mission Station, which covers the Mission, Noe Valley and Castro neighborhoods. The station has not recorded homicides in the double digits since 2008, when there were 18.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to call Inspector Dedet, Inspector Velarde or Sgt. Warnke of the Homicide Detail at 415-553-1145 or the anonymous tip line, 415-575-4444; or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.

We will update this story as we get more information.

Hélène Goupil

Hélène Goupil is a former editor at Mission Local who now works independently as a videographer and editor. She's the co-author of "San Francisco: The Unknown City" (Arsenal Pulp Press).

Alejandro Rosas

Mission Local Sports Reporter

Mateo Hoke

Arts & Culture reporter at Mission Local @MrSurrealista

Join the Conversation


  1. Way to go SFPD. Keep it up!

    It’s time to send a message:
    While the inner Mission is a lawless place where almost anything goes, guns & murderers are not welcome here.

    Also: It’s nice to see that all the anti-cop folks aren’t jumping on this story as police brutality.

  2. Time to enforce a Curfew in the Mission for 14 year olds and their 20 year old handlers.

    Also, can Parking enforcement start Booting these East Bay Gangbangers’ cars? I’m sure they have revoked licenses, loads of speeding tickets ect. This will mean more parking in the Mission for people who frequent and support the local businesses. Just leave boots (wheel locks) on every block of the Mission.

    P.S. Federal Gang injunction means no cellphones, gang colors and I assume NO CARS! for these losers!

    1. Why not broaden the injunction to prevent any suspicious looking (read black and latino) youth from entering the neighborhood? Maybe formalize the cops’ power of summary execution for efficiency?

      1. that seems a bit arbitrary and racist. How about generating statistics about who commits crimes, and then target suspicious individuals based on the actual facts?

        Then if the facts and statistic warrant it, the cops could go after all the young white hipsters, or whoever else it shows as being the main source of violent criminal behavior.

  3. Hey everyone; if you live in the immediate neighborhood like I do, and want to find out about ways to address this kind of thing as local residents, come to the local neighborhood watch meeting on 11/13 at 7:30 pm at the Mission Neighborhood Center, 362 Capp between 18th & 19th. Supervisor Campos will be a guest speaker.

  4. I often wonder when I read about all the muggings and robberies about how many of the criminals are local neighborhood residents, and how many are from elsewhere.

    Why do people *come* here to commit crimes? I can only assume it is because they are parts of gangs that are based here. The sooner we crush the gangs the better.

    1. There is a lack of will to arrest and prosecute criminals in the Mission District. People come from all over knowing that they can get away with murder here. Literally. Public safety is simply not a priority in our neighborhood. The Supervisor and many constituents are distinctly anti-police, believing that most cops are guilty of racial profiling and brutality and that the neighborhood is better off without them.

      The result of this attitude is what we have now in the Mission.

  5. turn the 14 year old, let him loose to return to his people. Gangs are a cancer and can only be wiped out from the center. Use the 14 year old to break the gang. The 14 year old is the one the other members would believe getting loose because of his age. He could do a lot of damage to the gang from the center. Or he could be put down. Life is about choices.

  6. why waste a opportunity to get inside. Turn the boy. Use him to his work on his own people. Play him like a violin.

  7. Good work SFPD. Now it’s your turn Supervisor Campos to do something about all the trash living / committing violent crime in District 9. How about a citywide gang injunction?

  8. It would be great if Mission Local could continue to follow this story and the stories about various vandals tearing up the Mission. Some added backstory on the perpetrators and victims would help and it would especially be great to hear if there is eventual justice for the victims and their families.

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