A 17-year-old boy charged as an adult in connection with the 2007 shooting death of another teen at a shopping center in downtown San Francisco will stand trial for murder in January, after pleading not guilty today at his arraignment.
Christopher Canon was 15 years old at the time prosecutors say he shot Michael Price Jr., 18, of Oakland, five times after an argument outside a video arcade at the Metreon complex at Fourth and Mission streets on Nov. 11, 2007.
A San Francisco District Attorney’s Office’s request to try Canon as an adult for first-degree murder was granted earlier this year, according to prosecutor Eric Fleming.
Canon, of San Francisco, was arraigned on the murder charge this morning in San Francisco Superior Court. After entering his plea, his jury trial was set for Jan. 29.
On Aug. 28, after a two-day preliminary hearing, a judge held Canon to answer on the murder charge.
The judge also held Canon to answer for two separate later assaults while in custody at San Francisco’s Youth Guidance Center, one on a counselor at the center and the other on another inmate.
The Metreon shooting occurred at about 7 p.m., after Price and some of his cousins and friends left the arcade and headed down a Metreon escalator.
Canon, who was with another young man, was reportedly upset about Price’s group not moving fast enough down the escalator.
Canon and Price exchanged words, according to witnesses, and Price offered to fistfight him outside.
In response, Canon threatened to shoot Price, witnesses said.
“I’ll pop you. I’ll pop you,” one witness quoted Canon as saying, before shots rang out.
Price died a short time later at the hospital.
Police near the Metreon responded quickly following the shooting and chased Canon into a nearby Bloomingdale’s store, and arrested him exiting the store on Mission Street. A 38-caliber semiautomatic handgun believed to have been used in the shooting was found on the street near the Metreon.
Canon’s attorney David Simerly has said that questions remain about what led up to the shooting.
“It’s not real clear” what the argument was about, Simerly said.
Simerly also noted one witness testified that after the shooting, a knife belonging to Price was found on the floor near his body.
Fleming contends the knife was not drawn during the argument.
Simerly said the case “has so many variables” that it “will ultimately have to be sorted out by a jury.”
Canon is being held on $5 million bail at the Youth Guidance Center while he awaits trial.