SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/BCN) — Police in San Francisco on Wednesday confirmed that the suspect wanted in connection with two separate fatal shootings in Potrero Hill last weekend had been in custody last month for another shooting.

San Francisco police told CBS SF that the shooting suspect — identified on Tuesday as 32-year-old Robert Newt — had been arrested in early April after a shooting in which no one was injured.

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Robert Newt

Police have identified 32-year-old Robert Newt as a suspect in two separate shootings that left 2 dead and 1 injured on Saturday May 15, 2021 in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco (Photo: SFPD)

Police did not say why Newt was released after his arrest but the San Francisco District Attorney’s office did: according to Rachel Marshall, the DA’s director of communications, her office declined to file charges because they never received DNA evidence required to prosecute the case. The DA requested it from officers but never received it, so the office sent case back to the SFPD.

“This is a common request when we need additional evidence to prove a case,” Marshall told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It speaks to the need for developing faster testing processes so that we can more quickly charge cases that require forensic evidence.”

Newt is believed to be responsible for two separate Saturday shootings that killed two people and left another victim with critical injuries.

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The first shooting happened around 10:10 a.m. Saturday morning near 25th and Connecticut streets. At the scene, officers found a 61-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds, police said.

The victim was taken to a hospital, but he later succumbed to his injuries.

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The San Francisco medical examiner’s office on Wednesday identified the victim as 61-year-old San Francisco resident Darryl Haynes.

Just a little over two hours later, around 12:25 p.m., a second shooting occurred in the first block of Dakota Street. There, officers found a 49-year-old man and a 54-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds.

Both victims were hospitalized, but the 54-year-old victim died from his injuries. That victim has been identified by the medical examiner’s office as Randy Armstrong of San Francisco.

The 49-year-old victim suffered life-threatening injuries and remains hospitalized, police said late Tuesday.

Police said Newt is considered armed and extremely dangerous and he’s known to frequent the city’s Bayview and Hunters Point neighborhoods.

Investigators released a photo of Newt Tuesday evening in hopes someone will recognize him. Anyone who spots the suspect is cautioned against approaching him and instead should take note of his location, vehicle and clothing and immediately call 911.

Anyone with additional information about the shootings is asked to call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to text TIP411 with “SFPD” at the start of the message.

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