SFPD arrests man with loaded firearm at Pride celebration

  • by John Ferrannini, Assistant Editor
  • Tuesday June 27, 2023
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San Francisco police officers were out in force after receiving word that a man at the celebration at Civic Center Sunday had a gun. Photo: Charlie Hinton<br>
San Francisco police officers were out in force after receiving word that a man at the celebration at Civic Center Sunday had a gun. Photo: Charlie Hinton

A man was arrested by the San Francisco Police Department Sunday evening for allegedly carrying a loaded, concealed firearm into the Pride celebration at the Civic Center.

"What shocked me was how many police there were and how fast they got in," Charlie Hinton, a gay San Francisco resident who witnessed the arrest, told the Bay Area Reporter. "They were prepared for trouble."

"The first thing I saw was a line of police running in from McAllister toward Fulton Street on Larkin right in front of the Asian Art Museum," Hinton said. "There's a Black man they've arrested and word of mouth is he had a gun. There were three, four police holding this man and the police surrounded them to protect the people making the arrest from the crowd. There was a lot of taunting of the police from people in the crowd."

Leedell Moore, 23, of Oakland, was arrested and booked on charges of carrying a concealed firearm, carrying a loaded firearm, and resisting arrest, police stated to the B.A.R. Officers were alerted to Moore after they were told there'd been a fight.

"On June 25, 2023, at approximately 5:23 p.m., SFPD officers who were assigned to work at the San Francisco Pride event at Civic Center were in the area of Larkin Street and Grove Street when they were flagged down regarding a possible physical altercation on the 100 block of Larkin Street," Officer Gonee Sepulveda stated. "Officers observed three subjects in an argument. When officers approached the subjects, a male attempted to flee the scene on foot and a witness conveyed to the officers that the male fleeing the scene had a firearm. After a brief foot pursuit, the officers detained the male and located a firearm on his person."

The SFPD posted a purported picture of the gun on Twitter, stating that Moore "attempted to flee but fell and was arrested by officers."

"Great arrest by our officers keeping Pride safe," the tweet stated.

Hinton said the experience was "surreal" due to the juxtaposition of people partying and protesting.

Around the same time at last year's Pride celebration at the Civic Center on Sunday, there were false reports of a mass-casualty shooting that caused a stampede in Civic Center Plaza. Separately, there were physical fights, and someone sprayed pepper spray into the crowd.

The San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration Committee — which puts on the annual parade Sunday morning and the celebration Saturday and Sunday afternoon — released a safety plan last month after 11 inquiries by the B.A.R., and assured metal detectors and bag checks. SF Pride spokespeople have not replied to a request for comment for this report.

In 2013, there had been a man shot at the celebration. The SF Pride organization was sued and settled two years after Trevor Gardner of Los Angeles had claimed that lax security led to him being shot in the leg after a brawl broke out nearby, as the B.A.R. reported.

The San Francisco District Attorney's office did not return a request for comment asking if Moore will be prosecuted.

The SFPD states that this is still an "open and active investigation." Anyone with information is asked to contact the SFPD at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD. Tippers may remain anonymous.

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