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Homeless Man Slain In San Francisco Shooting Remembered

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The victim of a weekend shooting in San Francisco.s Mission District on Monday was being remembered by friends as a man of character and ingenuity.

San Francisco Police are investigating a deadly double-shooting that left two people dead, a man and a woman. It happened Sunday night near 15th and Valencia streets in the Mission.

Friends tell KPIX 5 one of the victims was a homeless man, who went by the name Tennessee.

He was interviewed by retired KPIX 5 reporter Mike Sugerman earlier this year in February. In that report, he showed off his makeshift home powered by a generator.

Some of Tennessee's friends said they will remember him for his ability to make the best of his situation.

"Last night. Some gun violence. Senseless killing," said a homeless man who goes by the name "Shorty."

"I was right there on the fence. Police pulled up, like 12 cars, and we didn't hear nothing," said another man living on the Mission streets named Markell "Kells" Raybon.

Even the people living right at the corner of 16th and Shotwell did not hear the gunfire. But when it was over, a woman was dead on the sidewalk and a man was mortally wounded.

While police hadn't officially named the victims, word quickly spread that one of them was well known to just about everyone living on the streets in the Mission.

"Dirty clothes and all, his character was intact, man," said Shorty.

"That's my dude," said Raybon."Tennessee was the kind of dude you want to be, as a dude."

Regular viewers of the KPIX 5 news might recognize the man who called himself "Tennessee" from the profile Mike Sugerman did back in February.

"32-inch flat screen. If you're gonna be homeless, might as well do it in style," Tennessee told Sugerman.  "I got an XBox 360. Can't play the XBox without the flat screen."

While that generator-powered mobile shed became a bit of a sensation, his neighbors on the street were quick to tell us the upbeat, resourceful character you saw on television was very much the real thing.

"You gotta imagine somebody that knows all the stuff like that, where to get the stuff, or lumber or nails," said Raybon.

"He made rough times out here not be so bad. That's the kind of cat Tennessee was," said Shorty.

The home Tennessee built with his bare hands was hauled away Sunday night. City crews cleaned up what was left on the sidewalk Monday morning.

The flat screen was saved by his friends still trying to make sense of the shooting.

"He ain't that kind of dude to be confrontational with you," said Raybon.

"He didn't do none of the slime ball stuff. That's why I don't know how he ended up like this," said Shorty. "Guy on the sidewalk, he ain't got no treasure chest full of gold."

As San Francisco moves ahead with a reconfigured homeless strategy, life on these sidewalks is changing.

But the day-to-day risks of living out here certainly have not.

The two men KPIX 5 spoke with offered up remembrances of Tennessee.

"Let everybody know he was one of the good guys, ya know?" said Shorty.

"Why my dude? Why my dude?" asked Raybon.

Police have not identified any suspects or a motive. Sunday night's shooting brings San Francisco's homicide count to 57 this year.

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