In response to seven shootings and two stabbings since late May that left three people dead, another three critically injured, and four more in the hospital, San Francisco police are stepping up their efforts in the Mission District to combat crime. Many of the incidents occurred in the vicinity of 16th and Mission streets.
The captain of the Mission Police Station, Daniel Perea, said there have been plainclothes operations and an increased presence of uniformed officers in the area of 16th and Mission streets since in recent weeks. Officers have also been riding Muni buses and paying closer attention to the BART plaza.
“Any violence to the level that it’s been…that’s not acceptable. So we’ve had several operations in that area that have been ongoing,” Perea said.
Officers have already made an arrest in connection to the fatal stabbing of Larry Teevy outside the 16th Street Bart Plaza after a brawl on June 5, Perea said.
He also said that the two shootings on Thursday morning were not connected, though he added that the victims were targeted rather than randomly shot.
Mission Supervisor David Campos also expressed concern about the increased violence in his district, and called for a greater police presence after hearing about the recent incidents.
“Every time there is an increase [in violence] we ask, ‘Is there something specific going on?’ We are hearing from the police department that they don’t believe that,” said Campos. Still, the supervisor said that the situation is one to be “monitored.”
While the 16th Street BART Plaza has long been a high-crime area, Campos said that during a visit to the area on Wednesday, he noticed a lack of police presence, which he said is unusual.
“I believe it’s an issue of staffing,” he said, adding that he asked for a “more visible police presence, especially in certain parts of the area.”
Perea, however, said his station has asked for additional resources and received them, enabling him to post different types of officers on the scene from different units.
He added that members of the Street Violence Intervention Program, which works to anticipate and prevent gang related violence, have also been assisting in crime prevention in the area. He said he would monitor police and criminal activity to see if the stepped-up police presence is working to reduce crime or if a new approach needs to be taken.
“I want people to feel safe. I want them to see that we’re here, we’re out here trying to maintain public safety for everyone,” said Perea.
Update: Suspect Mugshot Released in Fatal Stabbing
San Francisco Police released a statement today announcing the arrest of 27-year-old Jose Poot of San Francisco in connection to a fatal stabbing on June 5 at 16th and Mission Streets. Poot was arrested on June 14 at 12:51 p.m. when officers from Mission Station saw him at 15th and Julian streets. Though an arrest has been made, the investigation remains open and anyone with information is asked to contact SFPD’s Anonymous Tip line at (415) 575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.
Mission District Crime in the Last Three Weeks
On May 28, a man was stabbed in the face and neck while walking along the 16th and Mission Streets intersection. That same day, just a few streets over, a 34-year-old man was shot in the hand while waiting inside of his car at a traffic light at the intersection of 19th and Linda streets.
On June 5, a drive-by shooting on Bartlett and 22nd streets injured two. Also that day, 55-year-old Larry Teevy was fatally stabbed during an early morning brawl at the BART plaza. A man who works at the plaza and witnessed Teevy’s stabbing said he saw another attack earlier in the week during which a man was “pistol-whipped” at the plaza.
On June 14, a man identified as 32-year-old Robert Lewis was shot and killed on 20th and Shotwell streets. Witnesses said they heard five shots and saw Lewis as he lay dying, and noticed a black car speeding away from the crime scene.
On June 16, three men were injured in two separate shootings. Two of the men remain in critical condition.