San Francisco Police Saturate Mission District After 2 Gang-Related Murders

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – More San Francisco police have been patrolling the Mission District since a second gang-related murder less than 24 hours after a young father was shot to death by gang members who mistakenly thought he belonged to a rival gang.

The second shooting happened late Tuesday night in the 800 block of Hampshire Street, ten blocks from the other shooting very early that morning.

“Having two gang-related homicides within 24 hours, we have to treat it as though it is some sort of gang warfare, whether it is or not,” said Capt. Greg Corrales, head of Mission Police Station.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Dozens of officers from other San Francisco police stations have been called in to quell any retaliatory strikes. Until Tuesday, there had been no homicides connected to gang activity since March 2, investigators said.

The first victim, 22-year-old Gaspar Puch-Tzek had stepped outside the Hog and Rocks restaurant where he worked as a cook when he was attacked. He later died at San Francisco General Hospital.

Police suspect Puch-Tzek’s attackers were Norteño gang members who believed incorrectly that he belonged to the rival Sureño gang.

Many hours later, 29-year-old Edson Lacayo, a man police said did have gang ties, was killed a few blocks away.

Police have not made arrests in either case.

Officers scheduled have been shifted so that more can patrol at night.

Corrales said officers from the tactical squad, the gang task force and the newly created violence reduction unit were also participating in the heightened patrols.

“We have a lot of officers in the area, most of them visible to deter any issues, but some of them not so visible,” he said.

Police have also met with neighborhood groups that counsel gang kids to see if they can de-escalate any percolating violence, Corrales said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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