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Gang Strife Led To Visitacion Valley Shootings, SFPD Chief Says

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San Francisco Police at the scene of a Visitacion Valley shooting on July 30, 2012. (CBS)

San Francisco Police at the scene of a Visitacion Valley shooting on July 30, 2012. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A recent spate of fatal shootings in San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley neighborhood is not a result of two gangs warring with each other, but rather a case of strife within one particular gang, police Chief Greg Suhr said Wednesday.

“They were all friends not long ago and now they’ve turned on each other,” Suhr said.

The most recent homicide, which Suhr said might be gang-related, occurred around 10 p.m. Tuesday in the 3000 block of San Bruno Avenue in the city’s Portola neighborhood.

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Edmundo Sandoval, 26, was fatally shot while his 53-year-old uncle was critically injured in the shooting, Suhr said.

On Monday, two other men were gunned down in the first block of Burr Avenue in Visitacion Valley.

Frederick Glaspie, 27, and Marche Daniels, 25, were fatally shot shortly after 1 p.m. Monday.

A city attorney’s document filed in 2010 in support of a requested gang injunction named both Glaspie and Daniels as alleged members of the Towerside criminal street gang based in the neighborhood.

On Sunday morning, 18-year-old Elijah Hopkins was also found dead in the city’s Diamond Heights neighborhood.

Several posts on the social media sites Facebook and Twitter also connected him with the Burr Avenue area, with many people telling Hopkins, who also went by the name Earl Flocka, to “Burr in peace.”

Suhr said that some of the victims were suspects in other homicides, and also said that a previous series of shootings in Visitacion Valley in late June and early July were the result of a separate gang, Down Below Gangsters, warring amongst itself.

“They’re not squaring off,” he said.

Suhr said while police are committing extra resources to the neighborhood, the department is seeking the community’s help to reduce the violence.

“The faith-based community, parents, friends, brothers, cousins, whatever,” he said. “That’s what needs to blow this thing out.”

Suhr also discouraged recent extravagant funerals and processions to celebrate the lives of other gang members in the neighborhood who have died in shootings.

“We have elaborate celebrations, and I would suggest that this is nothing to be celebrated,” he said. “It’s better to find things like graduations and achievements rather than end of life to celebrate.”

No arrests have been made in connection with any of the homicides in the past week, according to police.

Anyone with information about any of the cases is encouraged to call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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