Sesar Valadez sent two officers to the hospital
SFPD officers stand outside gas station in the Castro district on Halloween 2017. Photo by Kaitlin Benz

Officer Shawn Kai Hintzen had been left in critical condition after Halloween 2016 shooting by Sesar Valadez

Additional charges filed against Valadez for attempted murder of fellow jail inmate

A man who critically wounded a police officer in the Castro last year was today found guilty of attempted murder and other crimes by a San Francisco jury.

Sesar Valadez, a 35-year-old Hayward resident, was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, two counts of assault on a peace officer with a semi-automatic firearm, and one count each of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle and discharge of a firearm with gross negligence.

He will be sentenced on Jan. 18, 2019.

Court records indicate that, in addition to these charges, on Sept. 4, 2018, Valadez was caught on video shanking a fellow inmate in San Francisco County Jail, and is currently facing attempted murder charges in that incident, too. Sheriff’s deputies subsequently listened in on Valadez’s phone calls, during which he purportedly incriminated himself. “I’m the one that started everything,” he said on the phone, according to court records. “I sliced that nigger’s face through … he ended up going to the hospital.”

On the night of Oct. 31, 2017, Valadez was seen attempting to break into a vehicle on the east side of Diamond Street. When Officers Samuel Fung and Shawn Kai Hintzen approached the vehicle, three unidentified individuals walked away from the car.

Valadez was inside the car and, upon seeing Officers Fung and Hintzen, closed the door and locked himself inside. The suspect refused to answer questions about who the vehicle belonged to or exit the vehicle.

He purportedly then suddenly pushed the driver’s side door open, firing two shots at Hintzen’s chest. The bullets did not pierce the officer’s bulletproof vest, but he stumbled and fell to the ground.

With the suspect then pointing the gun at him, Fung ducked and ran south on Diamond Street. Valadez chased him and shot at Officer Fung 14 times.

Fung emptied his magazine after firing multiple shots at the suspect. He reloaded and fired until seeing Valadez had been wounded after being shot in the right pelvic area.

Medical personnel treated the suspect’s wound after responding officers arrested him at the scene.

Hintzen was hospitalized for three weeks with bullet wounds to his hand and stomach. He had been caught in the crossfire between Valadez and Fung.

“Kai is undergoing surgery as we speak on his intestines. He is in a semi-medical coma  from medications so that he doesn’t move around and do further damage,” Officer Joe Lynch of the crime scene investigation unit wrote to fellow SFPD members in a November 2017 e-mail obtained by Mission Local. ““His abdomen was clean of bacteria and the doctors were able to stitch him up.”   

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Managing Editor/Columnist. Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.

“Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. You may also have read his work in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.); San Francisco Public Press; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco Examiner; Dallas Morning News; and elsewhere.

He resides in the Excelsior with his wife and three (!) kids, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

The Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eskenazi the 2019 Journalist of the Year.

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