Woman killed near gay club
by Seth Hemmelgarn
[Updated: 11/20/13: San Francisco police late Wednesday afternoon released the name of a man they are searching for in connection with the shooting death of a woman outside a gay South of Market nightclub last weekend.
Melquiesha "Mel" Warren, who would have turned 24 this Saturday, had been celebrating her partner's birthday at Club OMG, 43 6th Street, before the incident, people who knew her said. A friend of Warren's who was also shot remains hospitalized.
Authorities are searching for Michael Sione Green, 23, last seen wearing a beard and long hair past his shoulders. Police said Green, described as a Tongan male, was "extremely dangerous." Police said Green "shot and killed the female passenger, and wounded the driver of the car." Warren was the passenger.
Police are also searching for woman described as Pacific Islander over 6 feet tall and wearing a red dress. It was the woman that police said attempted to open the driver's door during the incident. Green is described as five feet 11 inches tall, 230 pounds. Anyone who knows Green is asked to call 911. He may possibly be traveling in a 2001 Mercedes, CA license plate 4UIP704. End of update.]
According to the San Francisco Chronicle , which cited Warren's wife TiffanyRenee Warren and police, Warren, a friend, and two others were sitting in the friend's car when another car backed into theirs. Warren's wife told the Chronicle that the front fender of Warren's friend's car came off, and Melquiesha Warren got out "to inspect the damage."
"Words were exchanged, and someone pushed her," the paper said. Soon, the shooting started.
Asked about what had preceded the shooting, Officer Gordon Shyy, a spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department, told the Bay Area Reporter, "There was some sort of altercation between the suspect and the victim," and the altercation "appeared initially as verbal." He said details about what led to the shooting that have been published in media accounts didn't come from the police report. The B.A.R. wasn't able to reach TiffanyRenee Warren for comment.
According to Shyy, police responded at 2:09 a.m. November 17 to a parking lot at Sixth and Jessie streets, which is near the club.
Warren had been shot in the head, and her friend had been shot in the torso. Both were taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where Warren was pronounced dead. Shyy said Wednesday, November 20 that the other woman remained in life-threatening condition.
(Photo: Courtesy SFPD)
A single shooter was involved, said Shyy, and police have identified a suspect, but he couldn't share a description because "it would compromise the investigation." He couldn't say how close police were to making an arrest or describe the shooter's car, but he said police have collected surveillance video.
Warren's friend Kourtney Caine told the B.A.R. she saw her at OMG just before she was shot. Caine said after they told each other goodbye, Caine went to her car, which was parked near the club.
She said she'd had "a little bit" to drink and waited about five minutes to start her car. There was already "a lot of commotion," including police who were patrolling the area and clubgoers, said Caine.
When she finally started her engine, she said, she heard gunshots and "took off." She didn't see the shooting and had "no idea" Warren had been shot until she got a call at 4 a.m., she said.
"I wish she would have stayed longer and talked to me five more minutes," said Caine.
Warren, who was originally from Oakland, graduated in 2012 from California State University, Sacramento with a criminal justice degree and was still living in Sacramento.
Like others, Caine recalled Warren's drive and her kindness.
Warren was an "extremely ambitious" and "loyal" person who would "always let me know to keep my head up, keep working hard, and don't stop," said Caine.
She "always wanted a better life for herself, and she wanted the same for her friends," said Caine.
Asked if Warren identified as a lesbian, Caine said, "I would say 'female stud.'"
Warren's aunt Sil Warren, 40, of San Leandro, said her niece was "very driven" and "very spontaneous," and "she was just beautiful. She was the sweetest person."
Melquiesha Warren, who had played basketball in high school, loved children and was recently involved in teaching basketball to youth, said Warren.
"She always had a smile," she said. "No matter what, she was always smiling."
Warren hadn't been legally married, according to her aunt.
In a Facebook message, OMG co-owner Rakesh Modi said, "What happened was extremely tragic and we definitely need to make sure our city streets are safe so that a life is not taken just over some silly fender bender argument." Modi also said, "OMG isn't part of the police investigation and so SFPD hasn't even contacted us at all."
A vigil is set for Saturday in Oakland. More details weren't available Wednesday morning.
Sil Warren indicated that before the shooting, the family had planned to have a fish fry to mark her niece's birthday.
There's "no justification for what happened," said Sil Warren. "It was senseless. There's no reason for it to have happened, and whether they're punished by the law, God has the last say so, and they'll definitely pay, if not on Earth, they'll pay when they leave this Earth."
"I'm going to miss my baby," she added.
Anyone with information in the case can contact the SFPD anonymous tip line at (415) 575- 4444. People may also text a tip to TIP411. Type SFPD in the subject line. The incident number is 130 973 739.