SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco police were looking for a man Thursday who shot and killed one person and injured another on a subway train, then fled when the train stopped in the district of Castro, the historically LGBTQ neighborhood of the city.
San Francisco police released a photo of a surveillance video Wednesday night of a man they described as a person of interest and asked anyone with information to contact authorities.
The man, who has not been identified, is believed to be the person who shot dead a 27-year-old and injured a 70-year-old as the train left Forest Hill station, police said.
The injured person was a bystander who was taken to hospital with a knee injury, said San Francisco Supervisor Myrna Melgar, whose district includes the Forest Hill neighborhood.
She said witnesses reported three or four gunshots and a “spirited verbal argument” between the suspect and the deceased victim. She said the suspect fled with other passengers when the train stopped.
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who represents the Castro District, said the victim and suspect appeared to know each other.
“It’s cold comfort, but it doesn’t seem like luck,” he said. “He’s not someone who, you know, got on the train and just started shooting, which would have been even more awful. It was pretty awful.
While authorities said the shooting was unrelated to upcoming Pride events, the death provided a grim start to celebrations at a time when members of the LGBTQ community are facing heightened threats, including protests in libraries where drag queens read to children. The station where the suspect fled to is in the heart of San Francisco’s notorious Castro neighborhood, world famous for its LGBTQ activism.
“There have been horrific incidents across the country and even in the Bay Area. So people are nervous, and I’m sure that doesn’t help. People need to be vigilant,” Mandelman said.
The shooting is believed to have been the first on a train with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency – also known as Muni. The agency operates most of the city’s public transportation, including San Francisco’s signature trains, buses, streetcars, and cable cars.
“The incident that happened this morning is troubling and is another reason we need to do more to prevent gun violence,” Melgar said in a statement. “There are too many guns in our society, turning a verbal argument into a senseless death of a young life.”
Erica Kato, spokeswoman for the transit agency, said she didn’t know how many passengers were on board, but noted overall ridership was about half of what it was. before the pandemic. She said traffic in downtown San Francisco is even less.
Filming takes place just four days before the San Francisco Pride Parade, which usually attracts thousands of people from around the world.
Still, sidewalk traffic was light Wednesday morning.
“Never heard of anything like it here,” said Deeno Nasher, manager of the Castro Smoke House. “It’s a little concerning for this neighborhood because Pride is this weekend and they’re trying to be as safe as possible, and for something like this to happen it kind of puts them on edge. “
San Francisco police spokeswoman Kathryn Winters said all Muni trains and subway stations were equipped with cameras and police were reviewing the footage.
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