Man Found Guilty of Attempted Murder for Violent Shooting


News from the Office of District Attorney George Gascón



March 8, 2018
Twitter: @GeorgeGascon
CONTACT:     ALEX BASTIAN (415) 553-1931         |        MAX SZABO (415) 553-9089




SAN FRANCISCO – Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced that a jury found Deshaun Kittles, age 33, guilty of attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and resisting arrest with allegations for great bodily injury, personal and intentional discharge of a firearm, and prior convictions. 

“The jury’s findings make clear that there is no place for violence in our community,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “This dangerous individual attempted to take another’s life and casually risked the lives others in a reckless attempt to flee. Today’s verdict ensures that he will be held accountable for his actions.”  

According to court records, officers responded to a ShotSpotter notification on November 17, 2015 at approximately 2:51 p.m. in the area of Watchman Way in Potrero Hill. As officers drove towards the location, they observed a white Ford Fusion without license plates traveling in their direction at a high speed from Watchman Way on Dakota St. toward 25th St. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Defendant Deshaun Kittles, made a wide right turn from Dakota St. onto 25th St., nearly colliding with the officers’ patrol vehicle.


The officers made a U-turn and activated their lights and sirens in an attempt to stop the vehicle. Kittles ignored the sirens and continued on 25thSt. toward Connecticut St. The front passenger, later identified as Lenell Kittles, opened the door repeatedly while the officers pursued. Kittles continued driving, crossing a stop sign without stopping, before pulling over near Connecticut St. and 25th St.


The officers approached the car and ordered Kittles to exit. Kittles refused and kept his right hand concealed in his jacket. An officer removed him from the car and instructed him to get on the ground, but Kittles refused. When the officer attempted for a second time, Kittles reached his right arm out with a gun. As the two struggled, Kittles dropped the gun but continued to reach for it despite numerous orders to stop. The officer pushed the gun away from Kittles’ reach. Kittles was subsequently handcuffed and arrested. His gun, loaded with three live rounds, was retrieved and documented as evidence. Lenell Kittles was also arrested, questioned, and later released.   


During the same time, other officers responded to the area of Watchman Way where the SpotShotter notification originated. They discovered Ricky Tauaanu’u, age 26, bleeding profusely and suffering from four gunshot wounds to the torso. He was transported to San Francisco General Hospital where he was treated for gunshot wounds to his back, stomach, left arm, and right hip.


During the time of the shooting, a witness observed a man wearing a beanie and holding an object walk past her home in the direction of the shooting immediately before shots were fired. She saw the same man walk past her window again, from the direction of the shooting, immediately after shots were fired. She later identified Kittles, who was wearing the same beanie, as fitting the description of the man she observed in the area of the shooting immediately before and after shots were fired.


Surveillance video also revealed footage of Kittle’s Ford Fusion approaching the Potrero Hill Housing Projects at approximately 2:42 p.m. on November 17, 2015. At approximately 2:47 p.m., the video revealed Kittles walking on a footpath between buildings on Missouri Street and Watchman Way. It showed Kittles quickly entering and closing the front door of 35 Watchman Way before exiting the unit and walking towards 43 Watchman Way. For approximately a minute, during which the shooting occurred, Kittles disappeared from the camera’s view before reemerging with a gun in his hand pointed in the direction of Missouri St. The footage also captured Kittles entering his vehicle and culminated with his arrest on the 1800 block of Missouri Street.

Our community is safer with this individual off of our streets,” said Assistant District Attorney Justine Cephus. “He took four shots at another human being and casually walked away. His actions warrant the outcome.

The Honorable Bruce Chan presided.  This successful prosecution is the result of excellent work conducted by San Francisco Police Department Sergeants Louis Dejesus, Alejandro Cortes, and Robert Trujillo. Special thanks go to Paralegals Monica Martinez and Nina Stellini, and IT Support Staff Morris Moore and Leland Chan.  Assistant District Attorney Justine Cephus prosecuted the case.