SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - A family is heartbroken and demanding justice after a 6-year-old boy was shot and killed in San Francisco this holiday weekend.
The young boy was at a friend’s house enjoying fireworks Saturday night when he was shot. His family believes he was an innocent bystander caught up in gun violence.
It happened around 10:45 p.m. on Whitfield Court near Ingalls Street in the city's Bayview neighborhood.
“I’m just hurt and I feel helpless,” said Ayofemi Bryant, victim’s aunt. “He was so smart. He loved to read books, play video games, and play with action figures.”
Family members have identified the victim as 6-year-old Jace Young. They said he was at a friend’s house for a birthday party. After 10:30 p.m. he was outside with his older sister watching fireworks.
“Then the tragedy hit,” said Bryant. “Somebody came through and opened fire and wound up getting wounded.”
Loved ones said Jace was shot in the chest and rushed to the hospital where he later died. An adult male, not known to the family, was also shot. He’s expected to survive.
“You never know if it’s opposite sides fighting with another or someone wanting to shoot off their guns in terms of celebrating for the 4th of July,” said Michelle Daniels, victim’s cousin.
Daniels has lived in the Bayview for most of her life and said violence has plagued the neighborhood for years.
“I don’t want to say wrong place at the wrong time because that doesn't make sense,” said Daniels. “He was at a birthday party.”
“Unfortunately, when we’ve had shootings in the Bayview in the past people have been reluctant to talk to the police,” said Lt. Tracy McCray of San Francisco’s Police Officers Association.
Police are hoping witnesses do come forward. The shooting happened in Supervisor Shumann Walton’s district.
“This is beyond tragic,” said Walton. “We are all at a loss for words. I’m really speechless. I don’t know what to do or say.”
“I wouldn’t want to wish this on nobody, this is a hard pain,” said Bryant.
Bryant knew early on Jace was special, standing out among his four sisters and two brothers.
He loved to dance, read and chocolate milk. He held conversations with adults at the age of two.
“He was just a good kid, a good kid,” said Bryant.
Jace graduated kindergarten at Kipp Bayview Elementary School. He loved computers and one day wanted to be a computer programmer. Family members can’t believe his life was taken violently and abruptly.
“Put the guns down,” said Daniels. “We have lost a 6-year-old boy that could have grew up and become the president. He didn't have a chance to live his life.”
The family is hoping to set up a Go Fund Me account to help pay for funeral expenses. Right now, the focus is rallying behind his mother, father, and siblings.