71-year-old man shot and killed at Twin Peaks lookout

- A 71-year-old man shot and killed at San Francisco's Twin Peaks lookout Sunday morning appears to have been robbed of a camera in the shooting, police said.

Witnesses told police that Edward French, a San Francisco resident, was approached on foot by two people, a male and a female, at the popular viewpoint around 7:50 a.m., according to Officer Robert Rueca.

The witnesses reported hearing a single gunshot before the two suspects ran to a vehicle and drove away from the scene, Rueca said.

A jogger in the area found French unconscious on the ground and began administering CPR. A marked patrol car passing through the area saw him and came to his aid, calling for an ambulance, police said.

French was only about a mile away from his home. Friends say he was likely taking photos for his work as a location manager. He scouted sites for the filming of commercials. 

French was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was found to have suffered a gunshot wound to his upper body.

"Just looking at how beautiful the sun was on the hills, he would really appreciate that beauty," said Susannah Greason Robbins, ex director of the San Francisco Film Commission. 

Police say the suspects stole French's camera, which was attached to a red lanyard. 

French's neighbor, Roger Craig, says the 71-year-old's energy was of a much younger man and that his kindness will be remembered. 

"He's a nice guy. He gets along with everybody," Craig said. 

Greason Robbins said French was a mentor to her and that he spent upwards of 40 years helping get commercials made in SF. 

"I keep thinking about him. He's never going to do this again," she said. 

Police say there are video surveillance cameras, but they're pointed at the communications tower to protect against property damage. Investigators want cameras to be focused on the parking lot where the shooting took place and they want signage indicating the presence of cameras. 

The suspects are described as a black man believed to be 20 to 25 years old, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds with shoulder-length dreadlocks, and a black female 17 or 18 years old who is 5 feet 3 inches tall
and 120 pounds.

They were seen driving a dark gray Honda Accord with rear-end damage.

"He's just really, really such a warm, loving person. Everyone will really miss him," said Greason Robbins. 

The last homicide at the Twin Peaks lookout took place on Valentine's Day last year, when two Santa Rosa residents, Julio Peraza, 21, and Rene Mora, 19, were killed and a third person injured in a 2 a.m. shooting.

Richmond resident Richard Contreras, 28, was arrested in the case and faces multiple felony charges including murder, attempted murder, carjacking and vehicle theft. He remains in custody without bail and his next court date is Aug. 4.

Rueca said police are aware of a recent rash of auto burglaries in the area.

In response to public security concerns,uniformed police officers will be posted to the Twin Peaks area 24/7 until further notice, Rueca said.

Police are asking anyone with relevant photos or videos of the shooting or the suspects to call the SFPD Tip Line at (415) 575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and start the message with "SFPD."

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