Art Student Mourned in San Francisco

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 AM PDT
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Art Student Mourned in San Francisco

AP

The Transamerica building towers over Chinese storefronts in San Francisco's Chinatown.

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Academy of Art University President Elisa Stephens remembered a 21-year-old student killed in a hit-and-run in San Francisco's  North Beach neighborhood last week as a "talented artist, good student and  kind person."
     
Luis Armando Prieto, of San Francisco, was walking with his  brother when he was struck and killed at 2:20 a.m. Friday at Columbus and  Vallejo streets. Police say the suspects in the car were involved in a  non-injury shooting a few blocks away in the 500 block of Broadway just  before the crash.

In a statement released this afternoon, Stephens said, "I would  like to express how deeply saddened I am by the loss of one of our students, Luis Armando Prieto, whose life was tragically cut short last Friday. I have  reached out to Luis' family to extend my heartfelt condolences and to let  them know our thoughts and prayers are with them and Luis' friends during  this difficult time."

She said Prieto studied illustration and calligraphy and that his  death is "a terrible loss to the Academy family and to the arts community as  a whole."
     
Three arrests have been made in connection with the Friday  incident.

The alleged driver, Oscar Alejandre, 21, of San Pablo, was  arrested following the crash and has been charged with multiple crimes, including second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter.

Two others are also charged in connection with the incident.

According to police, Alejandre was with Fidel Bejarano, 24, of  Hercules, and Andrea Luna, 22, of Richmond, at a nearby North Beach strip club on Friday night.

Police were called to a parking lot in the 500 block of Broadway  and were attempting to break up a fight when they heard gunshots nearby. No injuries were reported and the circumstances surrounding the shooting are  still under investigation.

Officers then saw a gray Nissan Maxima speeding from the area with its lights off when it struck Prieto, police said.

The Maxima was found abandoned, with front-end and windshield  damage, several blocks away in the 600 block of Lombard Street, and Alejandre and Bejarano were arrested nearby, police said.

According to police, a handgun was found inside Luna's purse in  the car. She was arrested later in the morning.

Two other guns were recovered, one near the car and another where the shooting took place, police said.

Prosecutors have charged Bejarano, who they said was a passenger in the Maxima and also fired a gun on Broadway, with multiple weapon and drug  charges.

Luna was also charged with weapons and drug counts.
 

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