The San Francisco Police Department is seeking five suspects Friday, following a shooting at Dolores Park Thursday afternoon that injured three people, one of them seriously.
As you likely know, at 3:05 p.m. Thursday five or more shots rang out in Dolores Park, sending park-goers scrambling for cover and fleeing to safety.
According to the SFPD, the three victims — identified Friday as a 37-year-old man, a 16-year-old male, and a 69-year-old man — were located "near the vicinity of the foot bridge at Church and Cumberland Streets."
Several witnesses said the shootings happened after about half a dozen men started shouting and acting threateningly on the bridge that leads into the park from 19th and Church streets. The men appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s and some of them wore bandannas that covered all but their eyes, the witnesses said.
One man, who goes by the name Hatter, said several park regulars had confronted the group and that he heard people yelling. Hatter said he “went up there to mediate and make sure everything was OK and nobody was fighting.”
As Hatter approached, he said, he heard somebody shout, “They’re strapped, bro!” A second later, he said, one of the men pulled out a handgun and fired six to seven rounds in rapid succession — an account confirmed by multiple witnesses.
Two people directly behind Hatter were struck by bullets, one in the head and one in the leg, he said. Hatter escaped with only some “shrapnel” to his leg, he said, perhaps from a ricochet.
“I normally can handle (myself) well in these situations, but I was pretty sure I had just lost my life,” he said.
Other witnesses said the men then scattered into the neighborhood.
This guy who calls himself "Hatter" witnessed the shooting at Dolores Park. He narrowly escaped being shot. pic.twitter.com/PoPAeFakZI— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) August 3, 2017
Speaking with ABC 7, Hatter says "Guy literally raised the gun to my face and I froze."
"I felt a fragment hit my knee and I took off running. Guy behind me got hit in the head, which I just heard might be someone I know... And the one on the right got hit in the back of the leg."
Police say that the 37-year-old man suffered life-threatening injuries, and the other two suffered non-life threatening injuries. All three were transported to the hospital, and the Chron reports that one of the less-injured victims has already been discharged.
According to the SFPD, they're seeking five male suspects, and before some among you get peevish, police say that their age or race is "unknown." Witness Antonia Juahahz tells ABC 7 that "I looked down at the bridge and saw a person running with a handgun in their hand," as "a group wearing bandanas and hoodies started yelling and threatening people as they crossed."
Witnesses say one of 5 to 6 young men with faces covered began shooting. pic.twitter.com/tlrtCyE5q1— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) August 3, 2017
SFPD spokesperson Officer Grace Gatpandan tells the Chron that "Witnesses saw several people speeding away from the park in a car" after the shooting, which "was not a random act or event." As none of the suspects have been detained, a motive for the shooting is as yet unknown.
Police will be stepping up patrols of Dolores Park, they say, with ABC 7 reporting that the SFPD "will assign two extra officers to the park from early morning until after dark to help ease everyone's concerns." As always, anyone who knows anything about the case is urged to call the SFPD Anonymous Tip Line at 415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 with SFPD at the beginning of the message.