Three Hayward men pleaded guilty Monday to the BB-gun shooting of a San Francisco man they believed to be gay, according to the district attorney’s office.
Police said Shafiq Hashemi, 21, Mohammad Habibzada, 24, and Sayed Bassam, 21, shot the 27-year-old man from their car at 16th and Guerrero streets in the Mission District on Feb. 26, and then drove off.
The man was hit in the cheek but not seriously injured.
Police arrested the three nearby and they allegedly confessed that they had come to San Francisco to shoot gay people.
Prosecutors had charged them with assault with a deadly weapon, negligent discharge of a BB gun, hate crimes and attempted mayhem.
In San Francisco Superior Court on Monday, the three pleaded guilty to negligent discharge of a BB gun, a felony, and hate crimes, according to district attorney’s office spokesman Brian Buckelew.
“The D.A.’s office is committed to enforcing a zero tolerance policy towards hate violence against any of our communities,” District Attorney Kamala Harris said in a statement.
“We will aggressively prosecute anyone who commits a crime on the basis of a victim’s perceived race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability,” Harris said.
According to prosecutors, the three men targeted nearly a dozen victims that evening, recording the shootings on a video camera confiscated by police along with a “rifle-style” BB gun.
However, no other victims of that night’s other shootings have come forward, and prosecutors have not filed additional charges.
The three men are scheduled to be sentenced May 13.
In addition to 180 days in county jail, they will receive three years’ probation, have to attend 40 hours of hate crime sensitivity training and perform up to 400 hours of community service, and will pay restitution to the victim, according to Buckelew.
The district attorney’s office said the terms of the plea agreement took into account the input of community groups dedicated to fighting hate violence.
Consideration was also given to the severity of the victim’s injury, and the age, lack of criminal history and remorsefulness shown by the men, according to the district attorney’s office.