In the seconds after a car cruised by a Friday night party in front of Mission Skateboards and sprayed the group of young people gathered there with gunfire, the community kicked in.
Some of the uninjured ripped off their shirts to make tourniquets, others held and comforted the wounded as they waited for paramedics to arrive. A couple ran after the Mercedes-Benz that had driven by seconds earlier and fired into the crowd.
This is the scene described by two witnesses to the drive-by shooting that wounded one woman and eight men — most of them in their 20s with the oldest victim being 34. One remains in critical condition, three are still recovering in the hospital and five have been discharged.
“I thought it was the end of the world, and I’m glad it wasn’t,” said one eyewitness who requested anonymity. “And if it had been, I’m glad it was around people who all were exactly who you’d hope they’d be.”
“We watched our friends and neighbors selflessly tend to the wounded without question. Our peers were the best and bravest of San Francisco, we will forever be honored to have them in our lives,” read a statement from Mission Skateboards posted the day after the shooting.
The shooting occurred a little after 9 p.m. when the corner of Treat Avenue and 24th Street was crowded with dozens of people in front of Mission Skateboard celebrating the six-year anniversary of the clothing brand Dying Breed, located in the same storefront.
Suddenly, four or five shots rang out on the Treat Avenue side of Mission Praxis, which is next door to Mission Skateboards, according to a witness near a chopped cheese sandwich vendor on 24th Street. Once everyone realized the sound wasn’t fireworks, the crowd panicked.
It was someone recklessly shooting from a car, “spraying everybody,” said one witness.
Fearing the shooter might turn back around, two party guests pursued him briefly before losing him.
“No one that got shot had more than a neighborhood relationship to each other,” a witness said.
The eyewitness near the cheese sandwich vendor sprinted off with two others toward Balmy Alley to take shelter. They then looped around to check in on everyone. People were either in shock “not moving” on the ground, “screaming,” or trying to keep the injured awake.
“There was a guy whose bullet went through his chest, and they were trying to find [the bullet],” one witness said. “And they realized that it was the [same] bullet that hit the guy behind him — in the head, upper right temple.”
Immediately, someone went to the man shot in the head and was “leaning up against him, trying to hold his head still, and trying to make sure he was stable.”
The man shot in the head was leaning against Mission Praxis, while the one in the shot chest was propped against the electrical box on the corner.
At least two men were shot in the leg, witnesses said. One of the men’s mothers spoke to the media saying he was not part of a gang. The witness recalled the man “was remarkably calm after being shot.”
Police arrived within minutes of the shooting, and paramedics arrived soon after, witnesses said. A local homeless man refused to leave the scene before everyone had been taken to the hospital.
Many locals described the parties Mission Skateboards and Dying Breed throws as fun and safe community events. Friday’s incident was an outlier, not something that anyone imagined happening.
“Our heart hurts for the victims and our community as a whole due to the acts of Friday night,” read a joint-statement released Monday by Mission Skateboards and Dying Breed, a local brand that was celebrating its sixth anniversary at the shop Friday night.
“We have endured our fair share of adversity over decades of economic fluctuations, cultural struggles and personal sacrifice. Violence should not be one of them. While celebrating our six-year-anniversary, after battling through several difficult years including a global pandemic, our small gathering was ultimately tarnished by a hateful act.”
In the aftermath, businesses on 24th Street near Treat are discussing holding a public forum on the recent violence.