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Suspect released in San Francisco tourist shooting

The Local · 11 Aug 2010, 10:09

Published: 11 Aug 2010 10:09 GMT+02:00

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Phillip Stewart was released along with four other men who had been arrested after they were spotted by a taxi driver leaving the scene, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Wednesday.

Mechthild Schröer, 50, of Minden, North Rhine-Westphalia was walking with her husband near the city’s popular Union Square plaza around 9 pm on Sunday when she was caught in the crossfire between two groups and shot in the head, the paper said.

Two teenagers, a 15-year-old boy and a 19-year-old woman, both from San Francisco, also sustained minor injuries in the shooting, according to local broadcaster KTVU on Tuesday.

Schröer and her husband had come to the city to celebrate their 25th anniversary and her 50th birthday.

The altercation was apparently between two groups of young people outside a private end-of-summer party. Nearby security cameras captured some of the shooting, which police are still reviewing as they await results for ballistics tests, district attorney’s office spokesman Seth Steward said in a statement.

"Currently, there is no positive identification of who caused the tragic death of Mechthild Schröer," Steward said, adding that there was still a possibility the 18-year-old suspect Stewart might be charged.

Meanwhile police chief Jeff Godown told the paper that the case was “complicated.”

"It was a large crime scene, a lot of people out there. It's going to take some time," he said.

Story continues below…

The paper added that the cab driver who followed the group leaving the crime scene and reported their whereabouts to police was hailed as a hero by Mayor Gavin Newsom.

The victim’s husband Stefan Schröer returned to Germany on Monday.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:18 August 11, 2010 by RP_Lifer
I have been following this story and its just a very sad situation, I could not imagine being Mr. Schroer returning home with an empty seat beside him.
13:37 August 11, 2010 by NYsteve
Released due to lack of evidence....right or wrong this is part of the legal system....a sad part due to the fact they have video footage of the shooting and obviously there are going to be eye witnesses...not to mention the ballistic testing....sigh....there is nothing we could say to Mr Schroer to even begin to console him....news stories like this make it very hard to be proud to be an American
15:01 August 11, 2010 by cobalisk

The argument that this could happen 'anywhere at anytime' is nothing more than American apologism and an egregious distortion of reality

Sure, it is statistically possible to be the victim of a stray bullet anywhere on earth but the probability is exceedingly remote for the vast majority of countries. Not so for the United States, the probability of being such a victim is many times greater in the US than just about anywhere else not actively conducting a civil war.

Per 100,000 the rate of unintentional death by gunfire is .59 in the USA meaning 1 person dies of a stray bullet per 180,000 people. Doing the math we quickly see that in total about 1,666 people are killed by stray or unintentional gunfire every year in the US. (300 million / 180,000 = 1,666.66...)

In Germany the rate is .04, a whole truckload less. To find the annual rate you multiply 100,000 by 25 (because .04 x 25 = 1) so 1 person in 25 million. The population is 82 million so 82/ 25. Therefore 3.28 person are killed each year by stray gunfire in Germany.

So total deaths by unintentional shooting (stray bullet) in the US is 1,666 deaths every year while in Germany the total per year is 3 or perhaps 4.

So, in other words you are 94% more likely to be killed by a stray bullet in the US than in Germany.

Hardly a case of anywhere, anytime. The truth is very simple, this happens way more often and far, far too often in the US. It happens so often in fact, that even foreigners visiting are counted among the victims now. A truly shameful burden for a society to bear.
15:48 August 11, 2010 by alterjank
The San Francisco police and district attorney are trying to put together charges that will stick. To do it prematurely could ruin their chances of getting it right later. The kid is not off the hook, simply not yet charged while they get their ducks in a row.
16:00 August 11, 2010 by moistvelvet
@cobalisk, well thank ou for that lesson in statistical analysis, perhaps I should have simply said "when your time is up, your time is up"
17:34 August 11, 2010 by tendalla
Most of the gun violence you hear about in America has its genesis from gangs of minorities who have a credo of robbery and violence with absolutely no ethical or moral foundation. In my city (Tulsa, Oklahoma) citizens are able to fight back with their legal weapons, without which they are helpless to defend themselves. We have a castle doctrine where we are able to stand our ground, meet violence with violence to protect our homes and our lives. In America there is no constitutional right to be protected from harm by police. A client of mine was attacked in her apartment by two miscreants. Since her early years her father taught her how to shoot, and she exterminated both attackers who "lucked out" iin attacking a girl who had a concealed carry license, who was faced with literally fighting for her life. It is a pitty a German was murdered here, but all good people in this country are faced with violence from those who simply deserve to be eliminated under the first law of nature: self defense.
19:19 August 11, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But it is too liberal. Yes, there are some very nice people there. However, nice people are often caught up in the misery of the immoral. And I'm concerned that the universe will soon grow tired of San Francisco.
01:00 August 12, 2010 by William Thirteen
Logic strikes again!
01:36 August 12, 2010 by Jasmine33
NYSteve: Yes, these are very trying times and even though most of the time I'm glad to live in America, there are times when I'd rather be elsewhere. But, if this article makes you feel it hard to feel proud to be an American, read the article on ABC news about the Frenchman who fell 75 feet at Grand Canyon but survived. Of course he was taken to the hospital but some of the comments others made about the incident are undeniably shameful. I gave my comment thanking God that the man survived, but unfortunately my sentiments about it were not shared. I honestly don't know what has happened to this country, it's definitely not the America it was 50 years ago.
08:09 August 12, 2010 by wenddiver
@tendalla- Too bad he didn't shot her in the South. We still use our Death Penalty in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and I assume the rest of the South. Kill one of our citizens and we will kill you back. Some of the time we don't get the execution right and it's pretty awful for the crud being executed, but I can live with that. Glad Oklahoma is still believes in Law & Order.

Get a Colt in .45 Cal. or a Glock in .40 S&W or 10MM, practice weekly and you will save the police a lot of time testifying at murder's trials.
00:54 August 13, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Maybe they don't have sufficient evidence to obtain an indictment. Maybe you prefer lynchings instead of due process. Maybe you don't believe in due process. Go on, admit it.

Oklahoma, by the way, is the wasteland of American jurisprudence.
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