SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- Police on Thursday arrested a suspect in the death of a San Francisco city worker who was fatally shot wile trying to remove graffiti.
Today Mayor Ed Lee ordered flags to be flown at half staff in honor of Jermaine Jackson who was shot and killed while removing graffiti near SF General Hospital.
Coworker Vincent Webster laid a freshly folded Public Works uniform on the spot where 27 year old young father was shot and killed. Candles, flowers and notes of sympathy adorn the area on the corner of 25th and
Vermont where the shooting happened Wednesday morning at 8 o'clock.
On Wednesday Webster was kneeling in the rain in front of the electrical box where his friend was slain. With tears streaming down his face, Webster said he had been with Jackson just 20 minutes before the shooting.
"I left and then I started hearing all these crazy things on the radio talking about... avoid this area- shots fired- I had no idea they were talking about my little buddy."
"You mentored him?" asked KTVU reporter Tara Moriarty.
"I tried. Hard. Guess I didn't do good enough," Webster wept.
Within 10 hours of the shooting, police tracked down the man they believe is the killer, 26 year old Michael Higginbotham, a known gang member who investigators say three years ago was shot by an IRS agent while trying to rob her.
Police say Jackson had not been affiliated with a gang for years.
"I've never known him to be in any violence," said Jemela Morris, who grew up in the same neighborhood with Jackson. "He was real close with his mom, his kids, you know? He got a job and changed his whole life around."
By all accounts, Jackson was a doting father to his two young children, Marley and Jayla. Friends and coworkers say he was excited to make it through the Mayor's anti-violence program and land a job with Public Works.
"Our community got a huge chunk of their hearts pulled out of their shirts yesterday cause of this. It needs to stop," Morris said as a tear rolled down her cheek.
Jackson was painting over graffiti on an electrical box at 25th and Vermont streets just block from SF General Hospital with two other co-workers when police say Higginbotham pulled up and fired several rounds.
"I have a son and I'm so scared for him. Jermaine didn't hurt nobody and I can only imagine what his mom and his kids is going through," cried Morris.
Jackson's family is in the process of setting up a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses and to support his two young children whom they say he loved so dearly.