SAN FRANCISCO - A weekend shooting that left six people wounded in San Francisco comes as the latest episode of escalating gun violence in the city’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood.
Gunfire erupted around 6 p.m. Saturday along Quesada Avenue just off Third Street, leaving six people hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Police have not said if they’ve identified any suspects or made any arrests in the case.
Homicides and shootings have increased this year in San Francisco, which has seen around 30 shootings and five killings, police said.
More than 15 of the victims have been in the city’s Bayview where police believe retaliation between gangs is the driving factor in the increase in violence. At the same time last year, there were two shootings in the neighborhood.
"The whole community is in an uproar when it comes to violence and we’re working hard and doing everything we can to keep our families safe," said Supervisor Shamann Walton, who represents District 10 that includes the Bayview.
He said his office recently outlined a public safety plan for the neighborhood, including more foot patrols.
"People don’t shoot people when there’s police presence and so we need our officers in our community – not there to harass people, not there to cause problems, but to be there to be a part of the community," he said.
Two weeks ago, a man was killed and two others were injured a block away from Saturday’s shooting. A memorial marked the scene on Palou Street where Terry Franklin Jr. was gunned down.
"Something is broken," said police commissioner Malia Cohen, who is the former District 10 supervisor. "Something is not working and we got to figure out what it is."
She said the Bayview police station recently added more officers the commission is looking at other ways to stop the violence.
"I think all across San Francisco people are alarmed about the uptick in violence, so we are going to be thinking critically about how to solve it," she said.
At last week’s police commission meeting, Police Chief Bill Scott addressed the violence.
"What's driving this we believe is group violence gang-type of violence which sometimes can go back decades or years," he said.
Tony Montoya, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, called the violence "downright scary."
He said he’s concerned the department is operating with too few officers amid recent budget tightening
"Our recent academy class that’s set to graduate here is down to about nine recruits out of 38 that started, so that speaks for itself right there," he said.
At least three other people were wounded in a separate shooting over the weekend in the Tenderloin. Police did not say if they believe it’s related.
Evan Sernoffsky is an investigative reporter for KTVU. Email Evan at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EvanSernoffsky