Just days after planning began for a park spanning Buchanan Street between Grove and Eddy Streets to "help redefine the neighborhood’s identity," tragedy has befallen the site: on Saturday night, a 19-year-old woman was killed on the spot, and two more area residents were injured.
A police spokesperson says that officers were called to Eddy and Buchanan at 11 p.m. Saturday night on reports of shots fired.
When they arrived, they found three people suffering from gunshot wounds. All three were transported to San Francisco General Hospital. Two of the victims, a 16-year-old girl and a 30-year-old man, were treated for injuries that are not considered life-threatening.
The third, a woman identified by the San Francisco Medical Examiner's office as 19-year-old Ranisha Raven, was pronounced dead at the hospital. She is San Francisco's 29th homicide victim for 2015, following Lisa Broussard's slaying a week earlier.
According to a report published by the Chron on Sunday, plans are underway to "reinvigorate" Buchanan Street Mall, the stretch of Buchanan between Eddy and Grove where Raven died Saturday night.
Though the area "currently has green space, three playgrounds, a half-basketball court and asphalt paths...the lackluster nature of the space and its history of gang violence and drug use have meant it fails to draw people."
“It’s always been a gloomy place to me,” area resident Sharon Watts said at a recent Rec and Park meeting.
“It definitely gets a bad rap for violence. Right now, people tend to walk around it instead of through it. But I think the mall could be a way to bring people together and connect the community.”
With an $187,600 grant from the Trust for Public Land, community leaders hope to add "planters, a community gathering space and signs detailing the history of the Western Addition."
“We lost so much of the area to drug use and gangs,” longtime resident Raymond Wade told the Chron.
“I’ve known so many people who were killed in this area. In the last six years, that area has become more stable. This is going to make such a difference. I haven’t seen a group of young people and seniors come together like this in a long time. It’s a community trying to lift itself up. You have to have pride in your neighborhood.”
SFPD is hoping that that pride in their neighborhood might inspire others to help police track down the suspect responsible for Raven's death, as at publication time no arrests had been made. They ask that anyone with any information on Saturday's shooting call the Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411 with "SFPD" in the message.