Francisco Gutierrez Identified as Man Killed by Fleeing Driver on New Year's Day (Update)

Categories: Crime

Update 3:45 p.m.: Investigators say the suspect is 19-year-old David Morales, a documented gang member in San Francisco. He's been arrested and charged with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder for shooting at three victims at the Valencia Gardens Housing Development. He was also charged with one count of a felon in possession of a handgun and a gang enhancement charge, according to police.

According to a hospital spokesman, the injured driver, an 18-year-old man, has been upgraded from critical to serious condition.

Police say Morales drove into the Valencia Gardens housing development where he engaged in a conversation with three victims. The conversation has been described as a "challenge." While still seated in the car, Morales pulled out a hand gun and fired at the trio, none of whom were injured. Morales fled the scene in his car, while witnesses provided police with a description of the suspect and his vehicle.

Original story, noon: Medical authorities have identified one of the victims killed on New Year's Day when a fleeing suspect broadsided a vehicle, knocking it into the side of a convenient store, killing two people in the Mission District.

The first victim was identified as 26-year-old Francisco Gutierrez of San Francisco. Police have not yet identified the female victim. A third person was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

According to police, about 7:45 a.m., officers got word of shots fired from a car around the Valencia Gardens housing projects near 14th and Guerrero streets. Minutes after police responded to the incident, cops spotted the suspect vehicle at 21st and Mission streets.

Officers stopped the driver and as they approached the vehicle, the suspect drove off at a "high rate of speed," said Officer Carlos Manfredi. Before the officer could even start chasing the car, the suspect, heading east on 21st from Mission Street, slammed into a vehicle headed north on Van Ness.

The victim vehicle, which was carrying two occupants, was thrown against a convenient store, hitting Gutierrez who happened to be entering the store, according to police.

Gutierrez and the passenger inside the victim vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the victim vehicle was transported to San Francisco General Hospital where he is believed to be in critical condition, Manfredi said.

The suspect was taken into custody and is being treated at San Francisco General Hospital and will be charged for killing two people as well as for possession of a firearm, which was found inside his car, police said.

"We are asking the public if they've seen anything or have any additional information to please contact the San Francisco Police Department," Manfredi said.

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