Joseph Melcher, the suspect arrested in two Japantown shooting homicides on October 21, 2006, has been charged with an additional homicide that occurred in San Francisco on the 2600 block of San Bruno Avenue on August 27, 2006.
In the October incident, Melcher shot a 21-year-old female inside a bar at 1704 Post Street and, after leaving the bar, opened fire on a 22-year-old male in the nearby Japantown plaza, killing him. (Melcher also shot a 40-year-old female inside the bar but she recovered from her injuries.) Narcotics officers who were working in the area observed Melcher after police broadcasted the suspect description and he was apprehended at Oak and Webster streets after a brief chase. Police also recovered Melcher's gun, a .45 caliber automatic, when he was arrested.
Melcher, who remains in custody, is also the suspect in the San Bruno Avenue homicide, in which he allegedly opened fire on two Asian males, a 21-year-old and a 16-year-old, as they were sitting in a car, killing the 21-year-old. Homicide Inspectors Maureen D'Amico and Michael Johnson determined that Melcher fit the suspect description in the August homicide and that the same caliber weapon was used in each case. The San Francisco Police Department Crime Lab compared the ballistic evidence collected at both incidents and determined that the suspect used the same weapon. Further investigation revealed that Melcher had purchased the gun in Los Angeles.
Yesterday, November 21, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office issued an arrest warrant, charging Melcher with an additional homicide and attempted homicide. Police continue to investigate the motive for the killings, all the victims of which were not known to the suspect.
For more information, please contact:
Lieutenant John Murphy
SFPD Homicide Detail
850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103