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Man accused of shooting friend charged with manslaughter

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A man accused of shooting and killing his friend on San Francisco’s Polk Street early Saturday morning, following a night of excessive drinking, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and numerous gun offenses, prosecutors said.

Arraignment for Jose Manuel Beltran, 28, was scheduled for Wednesday, but was put over until Friday morning.

During a brief court appearance this afternoon, Judge Robert Foley agreed to keep Beltran in custody with no bail set.

Beltran is accused of fatally shooting Victor Sosa, 23, around 2:35 a.m. in the 1100 block of Polk Street, police said.

According to prosecutors, Beltran, Sosa and a female friend had been drinking at a bar, starting on Friday night and into early Saturday morning.

Beltran allegedly admitted to investigators that he had been drinking all day Friday, prior to meeting up with Sosa and the woman, and was carrying a loaded 9-millimeter handgun. The gun was allegedly purchased illegally and Beltran allegedly told investigators he carried it daily for protection.

Around 2 a.m. on Saturday, the trio left the bar and Sosa drove the two to Polk Street, where Beltran allegedly said he knew of a place that would sell them alcohol after hours.

As they drove on Polk Street, with the woman sitting in the front passenger’s seat and Beltran sitting in the back, directly behind Sosa, Beltran allegedly removed his gun from his waistband because it was uncomfortable.

Beltran allegedly began waiving around the gun to the tune of music playing in the car. The woman in the front saw Beltran waiving the gun and told him to put it away, prosecutors said.

Suddenly, the gun went off and at least one bullet struck Sosa in the torso.

According to prosecutors, Sosa cried out and blood began seeping from his body.

Sosa’s car, a black Toyota Corolla, collided with a gray Honda Civic, police said. The female passenger, who was uninjured, was able to stop Sosa’s car and began screaming for help.

Beltran allegedly apologized for shooting Sosa and immediately fled the scene, discarding the weapon along the way.

According to police, Sosa was pronounced dead at the scene.

The female passenger told responding officers that there was no animosity between Sosa and Beltran and that she believed the shooting was an accident, prosecutors said.

Later that day, Beltran turned himself in to police, allegedly admitting to investigators that he was drunk at the time of the shooting and that he had made gestures with the illegally-purchased gun, but had no idea how it went off.

Additionally, Beltran told investigators where he had discarded the gun and investigators were able to retrieve it.

According to prosecutors, Beltran was convicted of carrying a concealed handgun in 2009.

Beltran is being represented by the Public Defender’s Office.

Sosa is survived by his young son.

Sosa’s family is seeking donations for expenses related to his funeral and has set up a GoFundMe account, which has raised $2,635 as of this evening. The page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/64mm6ps.

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