Homeless Man Slain In San Francisco Shooting Remembered

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The victim of a weekend shooting in San Francisco.s Mission District on Monday was being remembered by friends as a man of character and ingenuity.

San Francisco Police are investigating a deadly double-shooting that left two people dead, a man and a woman. It happened Sunday night near 15th and Valencia streets in the Mission.

Friends tell KPIX 5 one of the victims was a homeless man, who went by the name Tennessee.

He was interviewed by retired KPIX 5 reporter Mike Sugerman earlier this year in February. In that report, he showed off his makeshift home powered by a generator.

Some of Tennessee’s friends said they will remember him for his ability to make the best of his situation.

“Last night. Some gun violence. Senseless killing,” said a homeless man who goes by the name “Shorty.”

“I was right there on the fence. Police pulled up, like 12 cars, and we didn’t hear nothing,” said another man living on the Mission streets named Markell “Kells” Raybon.

Even the people living right at the corner of 16th and Shotwell did not hear the gunfire. But when it was over, a woman was dead on the sidewalk and a man was mortally wounded.

While police hadn’t officially named the victims, word quickly spread that one of them was well known to just about everyone living on the streets in the Mission.

“Dirty clothes and all, his character was intact, man,” said Shorty.

“That’s my dude,” said Raybon.”Tennessee was the kind of dude you want to be, as a dude.”

Regular viewers of the KPIX 5 news might recognize the man who called himself “Tennessee” from the profile Mike Sugerman did back in February.

“32-inch flat screen. If you’re gonna be homeless, might as well do it in style,” Tennessee told Sugerman.  “I got an XBox 360. Can’t play the XBox without the flat screen.”

While that generator-powered mobile shed became a bit of a sensation, his neighbors on the street were quick to tell us the upbeat, resourceful character you saw on television was very much the real thing.

“You gotta imagine somebody that knows all the stuff like that, where to get the stuff, or lumber or nails,” said Raybon.

“He made rough times out here not be so bad. That’s the kind of cat Tennessee was,” said Shorty.

The home Tennessee built with his bare hands was hauled away Sunday night. City crews cleaned up what was left on the sidewalk Monday morning.

The flat screen was saved by his friends still trying to make sense of the shooting.

“He ain’t that kind of dude to be confrontational with you,” said Raybon.

“He didn’t do none of the slime ball stuff. That’s why I don’t know how he ended up like this,” said Shorty. “Guy on the sidewalk, he ain’t got no treasure chest full of gold.”

As San Francisco moves ahead with a reconfigured homeless strategy, life on these sidewalks is changing.

But the day-to-day risks of living out here certainly have not.

The two men KPIX 5 spoke with offered up remembrances of Tennessee.

“Let everybody know he was one of the good guys, ya know?” said Shorty.

“Why my dude? Why my dude?” asked Raybon.

Police have not identified any suspects or a motive. Sunday night’s shooting brings San Francisco’s homicide count to 57 this year.

Comments

One Comment

  1. LuvUrPet says:

    TENNESSEE – EDDIE TATE WAS MY EX BOYFRIEND AND GOOD FRIEND. HE WAS THE TYPE OF GUY YOU COULD COUNT ON AND HONEST! HE DIDN’T DO NO ONE WRONG SO WHY HIM? LETS GET TOGETHER FOR A VIGILANCE CANDLELIGHT TONIGHT 12/20 AT 8:30 PM AT SHOOTING SITE 16TH AND SO VAN NESS ST. WILL BE ARRANGE BY ME, VICTORIA SCHALLER. I REMEMBER WRITING ON THE SIDEWALK IN GREAT BIG RED HEART EDDIE TATE LOVES VICTORIA 4 EVER AND HE WOULD COME BY ON HIS BIKE AND PICK ME UP ALL THE TIME. HE WILL BE TRULY MISSED BY MANY! LETS FIND THESE GUYS AND BRING THEM TO JUSTICE! I KNOW THAT THESE STREETS ARE GETTING DANGEROUS TO LIVE ON BUT I THINK IF SF CAN GET A LOT JUST FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE TO CAMP OUT IN AND HAVE A PERSON THAT PATROLS THE AREA AND HAS A SECURED ENTRY WHERE PEOPLE HAVE TO CHECK IN AND OUT IT MAY HELP PREVENT SENSELESS KILLINGS SUCH AS THIS. IF YOUR IN FAVOR OF THIS PLEASE CONTACT ME SO WE CAN BRAIN STORM A PETITION TO THE CITY OFFICIALS IN REMEMBRANCE OF EDDIE TATE TO BY A EMPTY LOT TO CONVERT IT TO A HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT WITH A CONTROLLED ENTRANCE THAT PEOPLE THAT COME AND GO HAVE TO SIGN IN AND OUT TO VISIT THE HOMELESS THAT LIVE THERE. IT WOULD SAVE LIVES AND PREVENT MORE KILLINGS SUCH AS THIS! EDDIE TATE YOU WILL BE MISSED BY MANY!

  2. Eddie Tate was one of the most right on people I had the pleasure of getting to know ever. He was honest and kind and had a great attitude no matter how dismal or rough things got. If there was anyone who didn’t deserve this tragic fate it was Eddie. He will be missed.

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