SF police make arrest in Muni shooting as victim is identified

  • by Eric Burkett, Assistant Editor
  • Friday June 24, 2022
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A San Francisco police officer directs a van from the Office of the Chief medical Examiner at the scene of a shooting death aboard a Muni train between the Forest Hill and Castro stations June 22. Photo: Eric Burkett  <br>
A San Francisco police officer directs a van from the Office of the Chief medical Examiner at the scene of a shooting death aboard a Muni train between the Forest Hill and Castro stations June 22. Photo: Eric Burkett

San Francisco Police have apprehended a suspect in the shooting death of a 27-year-old man onboard a Muni subway car earlier this week as the medical examiner's office identified the victim.

On June 23, the day following the shooting, San Francisco Police Department officers and investigators took into custody Javon Green, a 26-year-old resident of Pittsburg in Contra Costa County. With the assistance of Pittsburg police, Green was taken into custody and transported to San Francisco, where he was booked on charges of homicide, carrying a concealed firearm, and using a firearm in the commission of a felony, according to a June 24 news release from the SFPD.

Green is currently being held without bond, according to information from the San Francisco Sheriff's Department.

The San Francisco Medical Examiner's office has identified the victim in the shooting as Nesta Bowen, a musician and former employee of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks department, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Bowen was one of two people Green allegedly shot June 22 inside a train between Muni's Forest Hill and Castro stations. The other shooting victim, who has not been identified, was a 70-year-old man who was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center with non-life threatening injuries.

By the time police were able to respond to the incident at Forest Hill, the train had left the station and made its way to Castro Station, where the suspect fled.

Kathryn Winters, an SFPD public information officer, said shortly after the shooting that it appeared to be an isolated incident. Moments earlier, gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who arrived at the scene shortly after the police, said the shooting appeared to stem from "a fight among people who may have known each other. It was not, you know, someone who got on the train and started shooting."

The shooting, Winters emphasized, "does not appear to have any connection to Pride events or does not appear to target the LGBTQ community.'

"I really want to make sure that our community members and visitors who are in town for Pride week understand that," Winters added.

The incident rattled nerves in the city ahead of this weekend's Pride activities. The shooting also occurred on day seven of Frameline46, San Francisco's international LGBTQ film festival that presents most of its programming at the Castro Theatre.

District 7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar was one of the first public officials to disclose the shooting in a tweet shortly after the incident occurred.

"Terrible news this morning: on the MUNI between Forest Hill and Castro station, we have been informed by SFPD that a shooting occurred inside the train," she tweeted.

She added that, "two victims were shot. One is deceased and the second victim in hospital. Perpetrator ran out of the train at Castro station."

Gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) issued a statement.

"The shooting that occurred on the Muni subway near Castro Station — a subway ride I've taken thousands of times over the past 25 years — is a horrific tragedy," Wiener stated shortly after the shooting. "It's another reminder that as long as our country is awash in guns, shootings can happen anywhere, anytime. My heart goes out to the victims, and I know SFPD is working hard to apprehend the shooter. We must recommit as a nation to end the easy availability of guns. California has the strongest gun safety laws in the nation, and we're continuing to strengthen them. But we need strong action from Congress to truly improve the safety of our community."

Despite the shooting not appearing to be an attack aimed at the LGBTQ community, Mandelman urged people to be on alert.

"It's Pride week and people are already on edge," said the supervisor. "There have been horrible instances around the country and even in the Bay Area, so people are nervous and I'm sure this doesn't help."

If people see something strange, he said, they should call 911.

That said, Mandelman reminded residents that San Francisco homicide rates are low for an American city but he is worried, he said, about staffing issues at SFPD.

The last time such an incident occurred on an SF Muni train was in 2013, when Nikhom Thephakaysone was accused of fatally shooting 20-year-old Justin Valdez in what prosecutors said was a random killing. Press accounts from the time indicated that he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Anyone with additional information regarding this investigation is asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. People who submit tips may remain anonymous.

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