SAN FRANCISCO—On Thursday, February 11 federal prosecutors filed gun possession charges against a man who, according to a criminal complaint, is a suspect in an unprovoked downtown attack and shooting that occurred last October. The suspect was identified as 47-year-old Alvin Merrite.

On Friday, October 2, 2020 Merrite was identified on surveillance footage as a man who fired a gun at three people within 10 minutes. The footage shows Merrite approaching two males walking westbound on Market Street from Montgomery Street who were identified as Victim 1 and Victim 2.

Merrite grabbed Victim 2 without provocation while waving a black pistol in the air. Victim 2 raised his hands while Victim 1 held out his hand, appearing to plead with Merrite. Merrite attempted to shoot Victim 1. Victim 1 dodged the bullet and ran away.  Merrite punched Victim 2 and fired a shot in the air while holding the gun near his head.

According to the criminal complaint Merrite also attempted to shoot at a third man in the same area. The police later determined the men did not know Merrite. After being arrested Merrite confessed to firing his gun four to five times that night. Merrite was charged with possession of a firearm with a prior felony conviction.

In 1994 Merrite had a cocaine distribution conviction out of Alabama and a gun conviction in Houston, Texas in 2013. Merrite is being held in the San Francisco jail, and a court date has not been set yet.