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5 Homicide Victims Found In Home Near City College Of San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - Five homicide victims, four of them related, were found in a home a block from City College of San Francisco, according to police.

Police were called to the home on the first block of Howth Street in the city's Ingleside District at 7:47 a.m., police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

Someone with a key, possibly a family member, entered the two-story home Friday morning and found three people dead, then called 911.  Officers then arrived and found the three victims, and also found two others elsewhere in the home, police Cmdr. Lyn Tomioka said.

At a press conference Friday morning, Police Chief Greg Suhr said one man was found dead at the front door threshold, while a man and woman were found in the garage, another woman was found upstairs and a third woman was found downstairs, Suhr said.

A records search indicates that the homeowner is  Yingxue "Jess" Lei. Lei works as a software engineer at Quantitative Medical Systems in Emeryville.

Some of the victims had gunshot wounds, but the cause of the death for all the victims was not yet clear, said Suhr.

A suspect was not immediately identified, and investigators had yet to eliminate the possibility that it was a murder-suicide.

KCBS' Margie Shafer Reports:

All the victims appeared to be of Asian descent and all apparently lived in the home, said Suhr.

Suhr sought to assure the public that it appeared the crime was specific to the home and the area remained a safe residential neighborhood. Still, police were canvassing the neighborhood for witnesses.

"We don't believe we have a manhunt on our hands at this time," said Tomioka.

The medical examiner, homicide investigators, crime scene investigators and officials from the district attorney's office were at the scene as of 11:15 a.m.

Tomioka said the crime scene is complex and that "it will be a slow process with that many victims."

A neighbor who declined to give her name expressed shock about the killings, saying she had lived in the area for more than a decade and that while the neighborhood used to be dicey, it had improved in recent years.

"There used to be all bars over the windows," she said.

A neighbor who wanted to be identified only as "Clark" said he heard somebody shout "Get down", followed by the sound of what could have been a gunshot at 2 a.m.

The medical examiner was at the scene Friday afternoon to examine the bodies, which were still inside the home, Tomioka said. Police have also contacted neighbors to see if they witnessed anything relevant to the case.

Howth Street remained closed between Ocean and Geneva avenues Friday afternoon while police continued their investigation.

Mayor Ed Lee released a statement about the deaths Friday afternoon, calling them "a terrible tragedy."

He said, "I extend, on behalf of the city, our support and sympathy to all family members and friends of the victims involved in this crime."
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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