A former San Francisco shopkeeper, charged with killing two rival shopkeepers in the city’s Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood nearly eight years ago, has been found guilty of double homicide for the second time, prosecutors said Thursday.
Hong Ri Wu, 64, was initially convicted in 2014 of two first-degree murders for fatally shooting Feng Ping Ou, a 30-year-old woman, and Qiong Han Chu, a 30-year-old man, at a souvenir shop on Jefferson Street in 2011.
Wu was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the crimes, however, in 2017, a three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeal in San Francisco overturned the conviction on the ground that Wu should have been given a hearing in 2014 to determine whether he was mentally competent to stand trial.
According to prosecutors, Wu’s trial this time around occurred in two phases because of his not guilty by reason of insanity plea.
During the first phase, a jury found Wu guilty of two counts of second-degree murder. During the second phase, which concerned his sanity, the jury found that Wu was sane when he committed the murders.
District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement:
“These were brutal executions in an iconic neighborhood that left two families without their loved ones … We thank the jury for their service, and for sending a clear message that violence will not be tolerated.”
On Jan. 30, 2011, Wu, armed with a gun, walked from his shop at 269 Jefferson St. to an adjacent shop and shot Ou in the chest. He then went to the back of the store and shot Chu several times, prosecutors said. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Wu rented and operated his shop from the same landlord who rented the neighboring shop to the victims. Prosecutors believe the killings may have been connected to a disagreement between Wu, the landlord and the victims, regarding the terms of the victims’ lease.
Prosecutors also alleged during the initial 2014 trial, that Wu murdered the victims because they were selling similar merchandise for less.
Wu is set to be sentenced by Judge Ross Moody on Dec. 12.