By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
May 7, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO – Just before 1:40 a.m. on Saturday after a night of drinking with some friends, Stephen Guillermo, 26, came home to his apartment building along the 900 block of Mission Street in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco.
But Guillermo mistakenly got off on the third floor instead of the fifth floor where he lived with his younger brother and sister.
The authorities say Guillermo tried to enter the door to what he thought was his apartment.
The man actually lives there — 68 year-old Amisi Sudi Kachepa — allegedly shot him to death.
Authorities are not disclosing the location of where Guillermo was shot.
Kachepa, who surrendered to police after the shooting, was later released pending further investigation.
He has not been charged.
“I believe that he deserves to be locked up for everyone’s safety and, of course, for my brother’s justice. I say he deserves to be locked up still, like I said. What he did wasn’t right. My brother made a mistake. It shouldn’t have ended like that,” Guillermo’s brother Marc said.
Guillermo’s sister Shermaine said the suspect has a bad reputation in their building.
“Most of my neighbors that have been living there know of him, but they don’t talk to him,” she said. “They describe him as being hostile to others. He mostly keeps to himself. He has a short temper when kids run around. He tells them to stop it.”
So was it self-defense or a crime?
The Guillermos believe that this is a question that needs to be brought before a court.
In the state of California there is a “Castle Doctrine” that grants justification for deadly force inside one’s residence.
The law says that if someone forces their way into your home and you have a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury, then you are justified in using deadly force to defend yourself.
On Monday, the victim’s family spoke before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to ask for a full investigation.
“I just want justice to be done,” Guillermo’s cousin Emil said. “As I told people who asked me this before, this is a family that doesn’t want vengeance. We want justice. We want this man to explain his actions. We want him brought in front of a court of law to say to a judge and jury: Yeah, this why I did it. Then we want that decision made so that that would give us some closure.”