SAN FRANCISCO - A San Francisco mother is pleading for witnesses to come forward to help solve the murder of her son. It’s something she’s been doing for 16 years to keep the case in the limelight.
"I feel like I’m in prison sometimes," said Paulette Brown. "And like I said, this is not easy. I still cry after 16 years. After 16 years, I still cry."
The pain in Paulette Brown’s heart, soul and voice lingers.
16 years ago on August 14th, her son Aubrey Abrakasa was killed near the corner of Grove and Baker Streets in San Francisco. He was just 17 and walking to the bus stop headed to work, when he was gunned down right near his home.
He died trying to save others. He yelled a warning to neighbors who were nearby when he saw a gunman headed toward them.
"He didn’t see the other five in a car over here behind the cars and they are the ones who came in and shot my son 30 times with a semi-automatic gun, 30 rounds of bullets left that gun, into my son," said Brown.
While everyone fled, Abrakasa had his life cut short just prior to his high school senior year.
The police chief said the young man was not in a gang and SFPD have yet to release any motive for the shooting.
Brown refuses to let her son's murder go unsolved, so she goes to that corner every year, pleading for witnesses to cooperate with police.
Adding aggravation to her agony, Paulette Brown says she and police actually have names of potential suspects in her son's murder, but they can’t talk about them until witnesses come forward to corroborate.
"Six of them. I have the names of them," said Brown. "I went down to the homicide detail and looked at the names and all the pictures, and some of them just had a baby. I can see them on Facebook living their lives."
Police Chief William Scott said, until witnesses come forward, the case remains stalled, names can’t be released, and they can’t make any arrests.
"Investigatively it would be improper to do that without having the evidence to do that," said Chief Scott.
So far, a $250,000 reward for information has failed to entice anyone to step up. Police and Brown acknowledge fear of retaliation is a major factor holding people back. But they said they know witnesses are out there.
Brown remains undeterred and continues to try and help solve the case, while continuing to advocate for all victims.
"Not only her son’s case but everyone’s case. Every victim of homicide that occurs in San Francisco," said Lt. Kelvin Sanders, a homicide investigator.
Detectives urge anyone with information to come forward.
As dignitaries, detectives, and others turned out to show support for Brown, they gathered in what they called a healing circle. Brown told the crowd she was grateful and comforted by all the support, and that she’ll now be able to sleep, at least on this night.
Witnesses with any information are urged to contact the SFPD homicide unit at 415 553-1145 or the tip line at 415 575-4444 where you can leave a information anonymously via call or text.