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San Francisco police arrest 22-year-old in killing of beloved Richmond District shop clerk

Yohannes “John” Tewolde, pictured with his wife, died after a brutal beating on Aug. 24. | Source: Courtesy Tewolde family

A 22-year-old man was arrested and put in San Francisco County Jail on suspicion of multiple charges concerning the brutal slaying of a beloved Richmond District shopkeeper.

Police Chief Bill Scott told a press conference Thursday that Santos De La Rosa, of Hollister, was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the Aug. 24 attack and subsequent death of San Francisco store clerk Yohannes “John” Tewolde.

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said her office has charged De La Rosa with murder, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

De La Rosa is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Jenkins said.

Scott said the police department’s homicide detail developed probable cause and obtained a warrant for the arrest of De La Rosa, traveled to Hollister and transferred him back to San Francisco.

Richmond shopkeeper, Yohannes "John" Tewolde, who died in August, poses for a picture with his family. | Source: Courtesy Tewolde family

On Aug. 24, Richmond Market store clerk Tewolde, 60, was pushed to the ground and beaten with a baseball bat after confronting a suspected thief in the store, his eldest daughter, Meron Tewolde, told The Standard.

“The suspect confronted the victim, who was holding a bat,” police said in a report detailing the attack at the time. “The suspect assaulted the victim, took the bat from the victim, then struck the victim with the bat. The suspect then threw the bat at another victim and fled the scene in an unknown sedan. The second victim was not injured during this incident.”

The family of Yohannes "John" Tewolde sit in front of the crowd at a vigil to honor the slain shopkeeper on Aug. 31. | Source: Joel Umanzor/The Standard

Family and community members gathered outside the market Sept. 1 at the corner of 41st Avenue and Balboa Street to remember Tewolde’s life and place in the community.

Concerned residents in the Richmond District banded together in an effort to support Tewolde’s family. Two neighbors began a GoFundMe campaign, which far surpassed its original $25,000 goal—as of Thursday morning, the fund had raised over $98,000 of its new goal of $145,000.

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