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San Francisco

Suspect In Fatal Corona Heights Shooting/Standoff Pleads Not Guilty

A man accused of fatally shooting his mother near Corona Heights Park last month pleaded not guilty today to murder, weapons and elder abuse charges.

Thomas Ragsdale, 52, is charged with murder, inflicting injury on an elderly or dependent adult likely to cause great bodily injury, and possession of an assault weapon in connection with the July 30th shooting that killed his mother, 76-year-old Martha Alfaro.

After the shooting, which occurred around 11:45pm in the area of 15th and Beaver streets, police were able to take Alfaro to a hospital, but Ragsdale allegedly barricaded himself into his home and refused to come out.

Police surrounded the home and negotiated with him for nearly 15 hours, shutting down surrounding streets and leaving some residents temporarily shut out of their homes.

When Ragsdale eventually emerged around 2:45pm the next day, he had a gunshot wound to his chest that police said was self-inflicted.

He was hospitalized for nearly a month before being booked into San Francisco county jail on August 24th.

Bail has been set at $5 million. Ragsdale is scheduled to return to court on September 13th for a pre-trial conference.

Sara Gaiser

Neighborhoods
Castro, Corona Heights

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