The San Francisco police chief calls the death of two innocent bystanders a horrible tragedy after they were struck and killed by a man fleeing police. Christie Smith explains what happened.
A driver who allegedly caused a crash that killed two people and critically injured a third in San Francisco's Mission District on New Year's Day has been identified by police as 19-year-old David Morales.
Morales, an alleged gang member, was booked into jail on suspicion of two counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder, evading police, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and gang enhancements, police spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy said today.
The district attorney's office is reviewing the case and Morales could be arraigned as soon as Thursday, district attorney's office spokeswoman Stephanie Ong Stillman said.
The incident began at about 7:45 a.m. Tuesday when Morales was driving through the Valencia Gardens housing complex at 14th and Guerrero streets and allegedly fired at three people but missed them, Shyy said.
Witnesses called police and gave a description of the shooter's vehicle, which police tried to stop at 21st and Mission streets.
However, Morales allegedly sped off heading east on 21st Street and collided with another car driving north on South Van Ness Avenue, sending that car careening into Muzio's Wines and Liquor store at the northeast corner of the intersection, police said.
An as-yet-unidentified woman inside the victim vehicle was killed in the crash, as was a pedestrian, 26-year-old Francisco Gutierrez, who was entering the store, police said.
The male driver of the victim car was taken to San Francisco General Hospital in critical condition, but his condition has since been upgraded to serious, Shyy said.
Morales was also hospitalized and a gun was found in his car, police said.
The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information 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.