Two men and a woman were arrested in San Francisco this morning in connection with a fatal pedestrian crash that followed a shooting near a North Beach strip club, police said.
Officers responded to a parking lot at 530 Broadway (Police this afternoon clarified that the shooting took place at 530 Broadway, not in the 400 block as they earlier reported) at about 2:20 a.m. on a report of multiple shots being fired, according to police. No injuries were reported.
Police responding to the area spotted the vehicle and followed it in their patrol car.
At Columbus and Vallejo streets a few blocks away, the fleeing car struck 21-year-old Luis Prieto, of San Francisco, killing him.
Prieto had been walking in the area with his brother when the car hit him, police said.
The occupants of the car, Oscar Alejandre, 21, of San Pablo, and Fidel Bejarano, 24, of Hercules, were taken into custody after abandoning their vehicle several blocks away in the 600 block of Lombard Street, police said.
The car had front end and windshield damage, according to police.
A woman, Andrea Luna, 22, of Richmond, whose purse was found in the car with a gun inside, was arrested later in the morning. Police said two other firearms were recovered, another in the vehicle and one outside the club.
Police said the three suspects were reportedly involved in an argument inside a strip club in the 1000 block of Kearny Street, before the shooting occurred.
After the men left the club, they got into their car in a nearby parking lot and allegedly fired several shots into the air, police said.
Alejandre, the alleged driver, is being held on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, weapons and drug possession, conspiracy and driving on a suspended license. Bejarano was booked on weapons and drug possession charges and conspiracy, and Luna on weapons and drug possession charges.
Prosecutors said they expect to make a charging decision on Monday.
According to court records, Alejandre was wanted in San Francisco for failing to appear in court on Feb. 3 on two misdemeanor gun charges, for alleged possession of a gun at the same parking lot at 530 Broadway.
In 2009, Alejandre was acquitted of first-degree murder with special circumstances in Contra Costa County for an alleged drive-by fatal shooting in San Pablo in 2007.
The prosecutor in that case, Tom Kensok, said today that the victim, Andres Xilonzochilt, 22, of San Pablo, was gunned down in a car after eating breakfast at a restaurant. A second man in the car was also shot and survived.
Alejandre had allegedly targeted Xilonzochilt from another car after learning he was at the restaurant, Kensok said. The pair had at one time been in the same gang but it split into rival factions, he said.
Accomplices of Alejandre eventually testified against him, but a lack of corroborating evidence could not convince the jury Alejandre was guilty of first-degree murder and attempted murder, Kensok said.
“I was very disappointed in the jury’s verdict,” Kensok said. “I think there was enough to convict.”
“I’m very saddened to hear the news today,” he added.
According to court records, Bejarano has several prior convictions for gun- and drug-related offenses in Contra Costa County and Alameda County.
Police Chief George Gascon, speaking today at an unrelated news conference in the Bayview District, said that this and other recent club-related violence, including a fatal shooting outside a Fisherman’s Wharf nightclub earlier this month, were depleting police resources from other parts of the city.
“Anytime you have to pull people to target one area you’re taking away from the rest of the city,” Gascon said.
“It’s a huge problem,” he said.
“Club Suede was a tremendous drain on resources, and it impacted public safety,” Gascon said of the site of the Feb. 7 shooting. “Who wants to live in a neighborhood where bullets are flying around?”
Asked what the key to getting club violence under control was, Gascon said, “A combination of enforcing rules we have and perhaps new regulations.”