A man facing murder charges in connection with an alleged gang-related shooting and fatal car crash in San Francisco’s Mission District on New Year’s Day will be held without bail, prosecutors said today.
David Morales, 19, made his first appearance in San Francisco Superior Court today following the Jan. 1 incident in which a police chase after a shooting led to a crash that killed two people.
A known Norteno gang member with an April 2012 conviction for gang participation out of San Mateo County, Morales now faces charges of murder, attempted murder, evading police, gang participation and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to District Attorney George Gascon.
If he is convicted, Morales faces a potential sentence of more than 200 years, Gascon noted.
Bail was set today at $10 million in connection with the murder and shooting charges, but because he was found in violation of probation today Morales will be held without bail.
Police have said Morales fired shots at three subjects in the Valencia Gardens housing project at 14th and Guerrero Streets on Tuesday around 7:45 a.m. while driving through the area.
He allegedly attempted to flee when police tried to make a traffic stop at 21st and Mission streets, but crashed at South Van Ness Avenue and 21st Street, striking a northbound car, according to police.
The crash sent the victim car into Muzio’s Wines and Liquor store, killing one of the vehicle’s occupants, Silvia Tuncun, 29, and a second man who was entering the store, Francisco Gutierrez, 26.
The victim vehicle’s driver was hospitalized with critical injuries but his condition has since been upgraded, according to police.
Gascon called the incident a “very tragic situation” that didn’t have to happen.
“We have two people who are dead, we have one person seriously injured,” Gascon said. “And then we have a 19-year-old who is very likely going to spend the rest of his life in prison.”
“None of this needed to happen,” Gascon said.
He pledged aggressive prosecution of this and other gang-related crimes, and urged parents to take a more active role in preventing gang activity with their children.
The district attorney’s office is working to assist the victims’ families, including the Guatemalan father of the injured driver, who is attempting to obtain a visa in order to visit his son, Gascon said. In addition, funds are being set up to assist the families.
Sara Gaiser, Bay City News