Ele family issues statement
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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,"
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.
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