Calif. Senator’s son gunned down during robbery

The Associated Press
Monday November 19, 2001

McPherson dies from gunshot to chest; Willie Brown offers $10,000 reward 


SAN FRANCISCO – The son of a Republican state senator gunned down over the weekend, was shot two blocks from his house by a man who jumped from behind a bush and attempted to rob him. 

Hunter McPherson, 27, died from a gunshot wound to his upper torso early Saturday. He was shot while walking home with his girlfriend, Alexa Savelle, from a nearby friend’s house in the Potrero Hill area, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported Sunday. 

The suspect grabbed Savelle’s purse during the incident, then shot McPherson. He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he died about 5:30 a.m. Savelle was not injured in the attack. 

San Francisco Lt. Judie Pursell said the neighborhood where the shooting occurred has both residences and businesses. She said it is not known as a high-crime neighborhood. 

Mayor Willie Brown has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect. 

McPherson is the son of Sen. Bruce McPherson of Santa Cruz. The senator told the newspaper his son was “his mother’s pride and joy and his father’s best friend.” 

Hunter McPherson was a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. He worked as an account executive at BizDevEx, a San Francisco sales and business-development company. He is remembered as an athlete at Harbor High School in Santa Cruz, where he played varsity baseball and basketball. 

After graduating from college, Hunter McPherson spent time in Hawaii before moving to San Francisco about six months ago. 

Bruce McPherson, who represents the 15th State Senate District, has announced he plans to run for lieutenant governor. The district covers a small portion of Santa Clara County, including the cities of Morgan Hill, Gilroy and a portion of the of San Jose. 

Bruce McPherson was editor of the Santa Cruz Sentinel from 1982 to 1990. The McPherson family owned the newspaper from 1864 to 1982. 

“I’ve known the McPherson family since before Hunter was born,” said Santa Cruz Sentinel Editor Tom Honig. “From the time he was a little kid, he was the same: friendly, smart and engaging. His death is an unspeakable tragedy.”