Lamar Williams, the track and field coach at Mission High School, and Demaree Hampton, a former star athlete at the school, were shot and killed in Bayview Hunters Point on Wednesday evening.

“The Mission community is certainly in pain right now,” Arnoldo Zelaya, the athletic director at Mission High School, wrote in an email Friday morning.

The two men were shot and killed at around 9 p.m. Wednesday on Bertha Lane, at what public records show was Williams’ residence. They were transported to the hospital, where they died, according to police. Few other details were released about the shooting, as it remains “an active and ongoing investigation in its preliminary stages by the Homicide Unit,” according to the San Francisco Police Department.   

Zelaya confirmed that Williams, 38, was a track coach and “security aide” at Mission High. 

Asked for comment on what Williams meant to Mission High students and track athletes, Zelaya deferred to a San Francisco Unified School District spokesperson.

Laura Dudnick, a school district spokeswoman, said that Williams was hired at Mission High in May 2012. “The community is saddened by his loss, and support services are being made available to students and staff as best as possible during remote learning,” she wrote in an email.

Public records show that Williams was also the head football coach at Galileo High School. 

Galileo’s principal declined to comment. But it appears Williams arrived at Galileo in 2019, according to an August 2019 article in the San Francisco Examiner, which notes that Williams was offensive coordinator for the Mission High Bears in 2015, and the team’s head coach in 2016 and 2017. Williams also assisted Riordon’s football team in 2018. 

In addition to being highly involved with student athletes, he was apparently an effective security aide in the school district. Williams was recognized in 2018 for de-escalating a “very dangerous situation into a positive outcome” at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, an alternative high school. 

“Lamar builds great relationships with students, which makes actions like this possible,” reads a description of Williams’ award. “The student trusted in Lamar, leading to surrender without incident.” 

For his part, Hampton, 30, was a star athlete while playing football at Mission High School a decade ago. As Mission Local reported in November 2008, Hampton was the anchor of the Mission Bears football team, a player who led them far into the postseason. 

“Dominance comes naturally to Demaree Hampton,” Mission Local wrote, while covering a game in which the Bears, led by Hampton, overcame Lowell in a bid for a playoff berth. “A star who defies position, Hampton slides past cornerbacks on one play before plowing through linebackers on the next.” 

At that point in the season, Hampton had racked up 35 catches for 780 yards and 11 touchdowns, as well 713 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns — a sizable feat for a young athlete who only stood at five feet, eight inches. 

Hampton was also an excellent basketball player. In March 2009, the San Francisco Chronicle called him a “prolific scorer,” and as Mission Local reported in 2008, he averaged 24.5 points per game. That year, he held the title of the Academic Athletic Association’s basketball player of the year. 

“You would never know it if you saw him walking down the street,” Zelaya told the Chronicle in 2009. “He’s a special kid.”

Juan Carlos Lara contributed reporting.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *