Students at Lick-Wilmerding High School watch as San Francisco police… (Jeff Chiu, Associated Press )
Five people who are believed to be part of the same family were found dead inside a home within a quiet neighborhood of San Francisco on Friday, authorities said.
Although police have stopped short of calling the case a murder-suicide, they emphasized that the crime discovered on Howth Street was an isolated incident and that there are no suspects at large.
"This does appear to be tragic incident that is specific to this address," San Francisco police spokesman Albie Esparza said. "There's no danger to public safety."
Esparza said that three women and two men were discovered about 7:45 a.m. Friday by a woman who may also be a family member.
The victims have not been identified by authorities, but they say at least two appear to have been shot to death. The cause of death for the others was unclear as of Friday afternoon.
Investigator Charles Cecil of the Office of the Medical Examiner said said an examination of the bodies would probably be performed Monday, but could provide no additional details on the causes of death.
Esparza said that authorities received a call from a woman who had access to the house, which is near an expensive private high school and the city college. The woman found a man's body in the foyer. She then found two additional victims in the garage.
"Then she ran out of the house," Esparza said. "It's pretty traumatic."
When authorities arrived, they discovered the other two victims in the back of the house.
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee weighed in Friday, calling the incident "a terrible tragedy."
"As the San Francisco Police Department thoroughly investigates this incident, I extend, on behalf of the city, our support and sympathy to all family members and friends of the victims involved in this crime," Lee said in a statement.
Louis DeRosa, 23, of San Francisco went to Lick-Wilmerding High School, which is at Howth and Ocean Avenue. DeRosa, a 2007 graduate, said he often parked his car on Howth and said students "never had any problems" in the area.
Lick-Wilmerding attracts students from across the Bay Area, many of whom pay thousands of dollars to attend. DeRosa said some students are given off-campus privileges and wander along Howth regularly.
"It's not a super-posh area, but there was also never any serious crime," said DeRosa, who was first informed of the homicides by The Times. "I'm pretty shocked by the whole thing."