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SF man held in grisly slayings of five

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Suspect Binh Thai Luc has been held in connection with the grisly slaying of five. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Suspect Binh Thai Luc has been held in connection with the grisly slaying of five.

A San Francisco man who apparently knew his victims was arrested Sunday in connection with the grisly slaying of five adults found Friday morning in the Ingleside neighborhood.

Limited details were released Sunday regarding the ongoing investigation, but San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said that suspect Binh Thai Luc, 35, is being held on five counts of murder.

SF medical examiner's office identifies victims.

Luc, who has a criminal history, was arrested just before 9 a.m. Sunday morning with his brother, Brian Luc, who was held on unrelated drug charges, Suhr said. The two reside together in The City, police said.

It is unknown if there are additional suspects, but Suhr said the slayings appeared isolated and that the community is not believed to be in danger.
Yet police declined to provide any possible motivation for the killings.

“There was a relationship between he and the victims,” Suhr said. “But we will not elaborate.”

The victims’ cause of death is also still under investigation, Suhr said. Police now say that the victims did not possess gunshot wounds, as they first suspected. Suhr said it appears they suffered from “blunt trauma,” adding that an edged weapon capable of cutting may have been used in the attacks.

Identities of the five victims were not released Sunday, pending identification of all the victims, the Medical Examiner’s Office said. The home was owned by Yingxue “Jess” Lei, who did not report for work on Friday, and KGO (Ch. 7) reported that her brother Vincent Lei may have been one of the victims. Four of the victims were related to one another, police said, and the fifth person was a family acquaintance.

The gruesome carnage was discovered by an adult female relative around 7:45 a.m. Friday at 16 Howth Street. Police first thought the incident was a murder-suicide but noted that the scene was too bloody to be certain.

Suhr said there were four separate homicide scenes for police to investigate because a man was found in the home’s entryway, a man and a woman were found in the garage, and two more women were found at separate locations inside the house.

Search warrants were issued in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, Suhr said. Luc did not surrender to police nor was he at home at the time of his arrest.

Neighbors described residents of the home as “really nice people.” A man who lived next door to the home said he’d heard a “boom” around 2 a.m. Friday morning and someone yelled “Get down,” but had assumed he was hearing commotion from nearby Ocean Avenue, which is heavily trafficked.

“I don't even know how to react right now,” the neighbor said Friday, describing the police activity on his block the morning after the discovery as “disorienting.”

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

Staff writer Mike Aldax contributed to this report.