Home   Google ARCHIVE SEARCH: Date:

Ele family issues statement
on murder

By Tamara Barak and Brent Begin, Bay City News Service

June 21, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The family of a man gunned down in San Francisco Tuesday night issued a statement this afternoon describing the victim as an anti-violence activist and aspiring DJ with "the biggest heart in the world."

Andrew Ele, 22, was waiting at a bus stop with his younger brother just after 11 p.m. when an unidentified man opened fire on the two. The attack happened at the bustling intersection of 24th and Folsom streets in the city's Mission District.

A vigil for Ele will begin at 7 p.m. tonight at the same intersection.

In their statement, Ele's family members expressed gratitude for the support they've received and lauded Ele's musical talent and the community work he performed.

"Andrew Ele, aka DJ Domino, was establishing his DJ career and moreover was involved as a community leader and activist against violence.

Andrew had the biggest heart in the world and he had 'much love' for family, friends and the community. He will be greatly missed," according to the family's statement.

Ele suffered a bullet wound to the head and was pronounced dead shortly after at San Francisco General Hospital. His brother, younger by one year, took at least one bullet wound to the chest and is expected to survive, according to police Sgt. Neville Gittens.

The son of longtime San Franciscans Ken and Kim Ele, Andrew Ele graduated from John O'Connell High School in the Mission District.

He worked with several community groups throughout the Bay Area, according to NTanya Lee, executive director of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, a community organization that advocates for family services in San Francisco.

"He was a devoted music lover and dedicated young leader who worked or volunteered with youth organizations throughout the Bay Area for many years," said Lee. "Coleman Advocates worked with Andrew for the last seven years and we know his commitment to social justice for young people and to peace in our communities first hand."

Director of San Francisco's Department of Children, Youth and their Families Margaret Bodkin got to know Ele well when she was the executive director of Coleman Advocates. She described him as "wise, sweet and gentle."

Ele's own struggles had let him "to a deep personal commitment to making San Francisco a safer, more compassionate and just place for its young people."

Ele was a staff member at YouthSpace, a youth-led community center. He served as a youth organizer to stop violence and increase city resources for young people. He testified many times at city hall about the need for alternatives to incarceration, according to Coleman Advocates.

According to Gittens, the murder was a targeted attack on the two brothers. They were waiting at the bus stop on the northwest corner of the intersection when a thin black man, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, walked into the middle of the street and fired eight to 10 rounds at the two victims.

The suspect then ran around the corner and jumped into the passenger side of a white Mazda MPV. The minivan took off immediately and police are positive there is at least one other suspect involved, Gittens said.

Police have no suspects in custody for this case or in any of the other three shootings that occurred in a night marred by gun violence.

One man was shot in the back at 10:10 p.m. in the 300 block of Head Street when at least 10 rounds were fired from a black sports utility vehicle.

Another man was shot in the leg in the 500 block of Crescent Ave around 10:50, and a third victim was shot in the leg at the intersection of Eddy and Buchanan streets around 12:30 a.m.

Anyone with information on any of the four incidents is urged to contact the San Francisco Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444.

"We're doing what we can with our limited resources," Gittens said.

A fund has been set up for the Ele family. Those who would like to make a donation should make checks payable to the Dru Ele Memorial Fund - Acct. 7192, at the Mission Area Federal Credit Union, 2490 16th St., Suite 305, San Francisco, 94103.

Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




The Hunger Site

Cooking Classes
in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires B&B

Calitri in southern Italy

L' Aquila in Abruzzo

Health Insurance Quotes


Bruce Brugmann's


Civic Center

Dan Noyes

Greg Dewar

Griper Blade


Malik Looper






MetroWize Urban Guide

Michael Moore

N Judah Chronicles


Robert Solis

SF Bay Guardian





SFWillie's Blog



Sweet Melissa