San Francisco police on Wednesday arrested a former middle-school classmate of a 14-year-old honor roll freshman and football player stabbed to death outside a convenience store in the Mission District.
Officer Albie Esparza did not name the suspect because he is a juvenile. And police did not elaborate on a family claim that the dispute between Rashawn Williams, a freshman at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory and his ex- classmate from middle school, might have been over something that arose on social media. That dispute was never fully explained by family or police.
"It was just jealousy," said his aunt, Maria MacMurray, speaking in Spanish. "He lost his life over nothing." She said that two teens "were waiting for him here" at a corner market, while her nephew was trying to buy a soda on Tuesday at 6:50 p.m. in the 2900 block of Folsom Street, about a block from Garfield Square.
A store clerk at Rubins Market, at 26th and Folsom streets, said Rashawn came in Tuesday night with his little brother and bought a chocolate bar. The clerk said he noticed there were two teenagers hanging just outside the door. Police have not said if they were looking for another suspect.
Rashawn's mother transported him to California Pacific Medical Center's St. Luke's Campus. From there, paramedics transported him to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, San Francisco police Officer Gordon Shyy said.
Sacred Heart's assistant principal for student life, Christine Buell, said that the school community was mourning the loss of Rashawn - a new student at the private Catholic school.
Buell said Rashawn attended orientation and then about seven days of his freshman year of high school before he was killed. She said he had signed up to play on the school's freshman football team after entering the private Catholic high school with a 4.0 GPA from Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 school.
Buell said counselors are available to members of the Sacred Heart Cathedral community following Rashawn's death. A prayer service was held after school Wednesday for the school community and families, according to Buell.
Michelle Forshner, communications director for the high school, said Rashawn was bright and motivated. Forshner said, like most students at the school, Rashawn was accepted into the competitive high school based on his academic excellence.
Family members said Rashawn wanted to come to Sacred Heart to follow in the footsteps of his older cousin, Jamar. “He was a great kid, a favorite little cousin,” Jamar Williams said. “He had a 4.0 all through middle school and had a smile that would bright up anybody’s day.”
Jamar Williams said he didn’t know about any threats aimed toward his cousin, but other family members said they were aware of threats dating back to 8th grade.
They did not detail what those threats were about.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact San Francisco police at (415) 575-4444 or to text a tip to TIP411 with "SFPD" at the start of the message.
NBC Bay Area's Mark Matthews and Bay City News contributed to this report.