SF police probe more hate crime BB-gun shootings

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Prosecutors who have charged three cousins with a hate crime for shooting a San Francisco man with a BB gun because they thought he was gay said Friday they’re considering charging the suspects in 11 similar shootings.

A video recording recovered by police from a car belonging to Mohammad Habibzada, 24, and Shafiq Hashemi and Sayed Bassam, both 21, show the cousins shooting at the other victims, Assistant District Attorney Brian Buckelew said.

No serious injuries have been reported from the 11 additional shootings.

“We’re looking to talk to others who may have been victimized,” Buckelew said.

The cousins from Hayward, Calif., are accused of shooting a 27-year-old man in the cheek as he was smoking outside a bar in San Francisco’s Mission district on Feb. 26.

The victim called police and said he’d been shot by a passing car. Police pulled the suspects over as the cousins drove by the bar a second time as officers were interviewing the victim.

Police allegedly found a “rifle-style” BB gun and a video camera inside the car. Investigators later discovered a recording of the shooting on the camera, police said.

“They basically stated to officers that they came to San Francisco to target gay people,” police spokesman Samson Chan said.

The cousins have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon with a hate crime enhancement discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, and attempted mayhem for the initial shooting.

They are in custody after a judge granted prosecutors’ request Friday to raise the suspects’ bail to $450,000 each, pending the new charges, which are expected to be filed in the next couple weeks.

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