Guns Increasingly Used in SF Domestic Violence Homicides – SF Weekly

Friends of 20-year-old Susana Robles Desgarennes knew her as an upstanding mother, with plans to launch a makeup company upon finishing her business studies at City College. On the side, she volunteered at Young Women’s Freedom Center, but advocates say the same forces that drove her passionate support for marginalized young women and girls like herself led to her death.

On Sept. 30, police found Robles Desgarennes and her ex-boyfriend, 24-year-old Angel Raygoza, lifeless in a car in Dolores Heights, in what investigators believe to be a murder-suicide. They left behind their 4-year-old daughter.

Robles Desgarennes was 15 years old when she first came to Young Women’s Freedom Center, which works with young women who are either homeless or marginally housed and unable to access social services. Many of them, Executive Director Jessica Nowlan says, end up or stay in violent or unhealthy relationships without other shelter options.

Robles Desgarennes “is a life lost too soon at the hands of a violent partner who was enabled by the gendered economic stratification in San Francisco and the ever-present misogyny in our society,” says Nowlan, who worked with her. “As a young woman’s world begins to open up and she begins to believe that she deserves a life free from violence, her abuser reacts proportionally.”

The murder-suicide was but one of two domestic violence incidents in only a week — both of which involved guns and took place days before Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The second death came on Sept. 24, when police fatally shot an armed man, Damian Murray, who held his girlfriend and their two children hostage in their Nob Hill apartment. After police arrived hours earlier, they heard a woman yell for help and Murray threatening to shoot unless officers stepped back.

“It’s important to know that we responded

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