Groshe, Silivelio (Tony), 13

San Francisco


1988-02-18 18:04:11+001988A developmentally disabled Potrero Hill 13-year-old was shot to death by police who mistook the toy pistol the boy always carried for a real gun. Silivelio (Tony) Groshe was hit by a single bullet in the middle of the forehead, a doctor said. He was dead when he arrived at San Francisco General Hospital. Neighbors in the Potrero Hill Annex project were horrified that the oversized Samoan-American boy they had seen playing for years in the scrub hillside around their homes had been killed by police . "We watch for him," said Jacquelyn Black, 29, a grief-stricken neighbor. "He's retarded, so he's careless. He can't even speak English - he mumbles." The officers, Michael Huddleson and Janet Campbell, spotted Groshe walking across Texas Street carrying what appeared to be a .22-caliber pistol, said Sergeant Jerome Senkir. The officers stopped their patrol car about 40 feet away from the boy and crouched behind the doors "with their guns drawn and pointed." "The suspect turned around with a gun in his hand, crouched down and let out a loud scream," Senkir said. "Both officers opened fire." The officers fired four shots from their .357 Magnum service revolvers, dropping the boy in his tracks. The gun he carried turned out to be a plastic toy, which neighbors said was one of the retarded boy's most cherished possessions. "He played with the gun all the time," said Frank Fua, a 19-year-old neighbor. "He waved it around and would point it at anything: bushes, trees, the water tower."Other