Two youths were injured, one apparently severely, in a shooting on Utah Street between 24th 25th streets early this morning.
Police said one 17-year-old male was hit in the arm, and another was hit in the chest, stomach, back, and arm. Both were transported to nearby San Francisco General Hospital. Public Information Officer Grace Gatpandan said responding officers were unable to interview the victims at the time of the shootings and that their condition remains unknown.
Multiple neighbors reported hearing between six and 10 gunshots at around 1:30 a.m., followed by a man screaming and yelling, “I’ve been shot!” Several added that two neighbors went outside to assist the victims.
“It seemed that he was in a lot of pain,” said Dimartin, who lives nearby but declined to give his last name. “I was still awake,” he said. “I was like, whoa, that’s not firecrackers.”
One of the injured men made his way toward 24th street and collapsed there, according to longtime neighbor Del Greger.
Another man collapsed about midway between 24th and 25th streets. An Airbnb visitor staying in an apartment with a view of the street guessed the man may have had as many as three wounds in his torso.
Leslie Einhorn, another neighbor, was woken by the series of shots and rushed to her front window, where she also saw the man with torso wounds lying directly in front of her apartment, holding his side. She also remembered hearing a sound like a car door slamming. Other neighbors added that they heard screeching tires after the shootings, leading them to believe that the shooting had been a drive-by, or at least that the perpetrators fled by car.
A reader wrote to report that a gas line was pierced by a stray bullet, prompting an evacuation. Gregor, who lives across the street from the building which appeared to have bullet holes in a utility box and in a garage door, said she also saw police evacuate the building.
Bob, a 22-year Utah Street resident who declined to give a last name, expressed surprise at the incident, saying violent crimes are relatively rare in the area.
“It used to happen more,” he said, “but not in the last several years.” He attributed the reduction in crime in part to a skatepark that was put in at the end of the block around 6 years ago.
Jessie Curtner said she heard the gunshots and the screams of the man who had been hit in her apartment on San Bruno street.
“That’s not common around here,” Curtner said. “I’ve only ever heard one other gunshot in two years.”
Neighbor Liza Comeau, however, said that due to the large homeless population, proximity of the hospital and a single room occupancy (SRO) hotel that is on the corner of 25th and Utah, it is not uncommon for there to be commotion on the street at night.
“It would be nice if they had cameras here,” said Willy, a neighbor who also declined to give his last name and who has lived on Utah street for around 11 years, “Instead of at red lights!”
Gregor, who has lived on the street since 1988, said the neighborhood has changed a lot, and has always been changing, but “it’s always been a fringe.” Nonetheless, she agreed the neighborhood has problems with vagrants, encampments, and occasional crime, and called for stronger firearm regulations to help prevent shootings.
“We act like this is normal, and it’s not,” Gregor said.
One resident, who declined to be named, implored the community to come together. “We shouldn’t isolate after something like this,” she said. “I think the community or the police should provide some kind of way to do that.”