SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Police Department issued the following statement about a homicide that occurred in Japantown:
“On Jan. 4, 2023, at approximately 5:07 p.m., San Francisco police officers from Northern Station responded to the 1500 block of Webster Street regarding a shooting. Officers located an adult male victim, who was a security guard, suffering from a gunshot wound. Officers rendered aid and summoned medics to the scene.
“Despite the lifesaving efforts of emergency responders, the victim succumbed to his injuries and was declared deceased at the scene.
“The SFPD Homicide Detail responded to the scene and led the investigation. Through the course of the investigation, the investigators located two juvenile males and developed probable cause to arrest them.
“The suspects, identified as a 15-year-old male and a 14-year-male (names not being disclosed) were booked into the Juvenile Justice Center. The 15-year-old was arrested for murder (187(a) PC) and the 14-year-old was arrested for accessory to murder (32 PC).”
Grace Horikiri, executive director of Japantown Community Benefit District Inc., posted on social media: “The San Francisco Japantown community sends our thoughts and prayers to the family of the Kinokuniya Building security staff who tragically lost his life last night. A senseless killing that has left our community with heavy hearts.”
ABC7 reporter Dion Lim provided additional details: “A 40-year-old security guard named Gavin Boston was allegedly killed, according to police, by two teen boys, ages 14 and 15 years old.
“Surveillance images I obtained today (Dec. 5) show Boston at the Kinokuniya Mall with one of the suspected teens right before he was shot.
“Grace Horikiri of the Japantown Community Benefit District says surveillance shows the guard ‘escorting the young man out the door’ and then she saw what looked like a gun.
“SFPD tells my colleague Lyanne Melendez, who is working the case, that they don’t know what the motive was and that the investigation continues.
“Boston was described as ‘one of the best security guards that anybody had ever had’ and the merchants are devastated …
“PS: When I first saw the photos, I was shocked at how young one of the suspects looked. I have covered too many stories involving minors. Pistol-whipping, robbery, assault, yes — but this is the first time the juvenile committed murder and I’m horrified. Also that it happened at one of my favorite spots in San Francisco.”
On Friday, Lim posted this update: “Multiple sources confirm to me one of the two juveniles … suspected in the murder of a 40-year-old guard in Japantown has a record including felonies from 2022 for kidnapping and armed robbery. Documents show the DA’s office objected over the judge’s decision for release.
“Apparently they cannot be tried as adults as they’re under 16. Arraignment set for Monday.”