Man shot dead at Colma cemetery

Police in Colma, a town known for its cemeteries, are now investigating a rare homicide, with a victim shot at a cemetery.

"Apparently he was visiting a gravesite, memorializing someone who was buried there," said Colma police Cmdr. Sherwin Lum.

Lum said officers responded to reports of a shooting at Olivet Memorial Park on Hillside Boulevard at about 9:30 p.m. Monday.

They found the victim, Jaquan Cheatham, 26, of Citrus Heights suffering from gunshot wounds. He died at a hospital. Police say there were witnesses to the shooting.

"The motive and the circumstances of the shooting are still under investigation, but this is an isolated incident," Lum said.

Many of the police department's 17 sworn officers are working the investigation in conjunction with the San Mateo County district attorney's office, Lum said.

The last homicide in Colma was back in 1993. The town is only two square miles and is home to 16 cemeteries. Colma is known for where the dead outnumber the living.

"It's an unfortunate incident that occurred in our city that doesn't happen, obviously very often," Lum said. "This is a safe city, and these kinds of incidents are very, very rare here in Colma."

 Relatives said Cheatham was the third oldest of seven siblings. An aunt said he was "their everything, the glue" to their family and that he was "nice, polite and respectable."

His aunt said this "shouldn't have happened."