Community gathers for Howth Street memorial

The Guardsman

Catherine Lee

Community groups will gather on March 19 at the Phelan Garden on the corner of Ocean and Phelan to plant five trees as a memorial to a family who was murdered on March 23 across from City College.

As previously reported in the April 4 issue of The Guardsman, five people were murdered in their home on Howth Street across from campus. Two of the victims had connections to City College – “Chantel” Chia Huei Chu was a current student and her husband Vincent Yuanji Lei was registered at the college, although not enrolled in classes.

The tree planting will provide a public ceremony for students, colleagues, family, friends and the general community to unite with the neighborhood and start the healing process, according to the newsletter of the neighborhood non-profit Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse, which is co-sponsoring the event.

“This is a wound in the neighborhood.  We’re trying to do something nice,” said Alexander Mulaney, editor and publisher of the neighborhood newspaper Ingleside Light, another event co-sponsor.

The other murdered members of the family were husband and wife Hua Shun Lei, Wan Yi Wu and their daughter Ying Xue Lei.  Vincent Lei was their son, and Chantel their daughter-in-law.  A suspect is in custody.

In an Ingleside Light editorial about the difficulty of dealing with the brutality of the murders and the impact on the community, Mulaney wrote, “The best way to cope is to come together, work together and be together.”

In association with the Friends of the Urban Forest, Lick Wilmerding High School and others, the tree planting will be held from 9 to 11 a.m., with a public ceremony at 11 a.m.  The public is encouraged to donate or get involved by contacting the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse.

Supervisor John Avalos is also scheduled to attend the ceremony.

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