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Arrest made after gunman tried to enter San Francisco City Hall

The Rotunda at City Hall, San Francisco, California on Wednesday, December 14, 2022. | Jana Asenbrennerova for The Standard

A woman armed with a gun was arrested Tuesday as she tried to enter San Francisco City Hall on the last day supervisors were scheduled to meet before the holidays, authorities said.

The woman—identified as 29-year-old Renee Jefferson—was arrested and the firearm was recovered “safely,” according to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office.

Jefferson was arrested at the Goodlett entrance of City Hall and remains in custody, according to an internal memo and jail booking records.

A gun found at SF City Hall | Courtesy San Francisco Sheriff’s Office

“The gun was recovered during a security screening performed on an individual attempting to enter San Francisco City Hall,” a sheriff’s memo said. “Staff followed protocol as trained and safely recovered the firearm.”

The memo added that the suspect was arrested and the weapon was booked for evidence.

“Great work by all staff involved in this incident,” the memo said. “Your training and attention to detail prevented a gun from entering City Hall.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office said they were not aware of the arrest until contacted for comment Thursday, while Supervisor Aaron Peskin said he learned of it early Thursday.

Kelvin Wu, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, said that Sheriff Paul Miyamoto and Undersheriff Katherine Johnson did not believe the suspect presented a serious enough threat to notify leaders at City Hall on Tuesday.

Johnson sent an email with the memo attached at 4:19 p.m. Wednesday to the Office of the Clerk of the Board. The clerk’s office notified the Board of Supervisors staff in an email marked “high” importance at 1:27 p.m. Thursday. That message noted that board Clerk Angela Calvillo “separately issued a communication to all Board members.”

A spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office said Jefferson was charged with felony concealed firearm, felony carrying a loaded firearm, and felony possession of a weapon in a public building, as well as misdemeanor possession of firearm and contempt of court. She was arraigned Thursday and pleaded not guilty.

City Hall has metal detector screenings at multiple entrances to prevent weapons from entering the building. The reason for these security protocols are in place for more than window dressing. In 1978, Supervisor Dan White snuck into City Hall through a window and gunned down Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

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