Months after the case appeared to have gone cold, San Francisco police say they believe they've found the person responsible for the shooting that left a six-year-old boy dead in the Bayview last July 4th.
The shooting shocked the city because of its seeming randomness, and because an innocent child was its only victim — though one adult was also injured. Six-year-old Jace Young was killed when shots rang out at an outdoor birthday party the night of July 4th on the 1200 block of Ingalls Street. A statement released by his family said that Jace was a "kid who could brighten up a room with his smile and his blue glasses," and he was "a very bright young man destined for greatness."
SFPD Chief Bill Scott described the shooting as "a horrific crime," and said, "I think this family deserves better and I think our city deserves better. And definitely this child deserves better."
After over a month with no leads, the SFPD in August announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the shooter. But not until this week, five months later, have police made public that they had homed in a suspect.
Without providing any possible motive, San Francisco police said that on Wednesday they had arrested 18-year-old James Harbor on suspicion of the crime. The Associated Press reports that Harbor was arrested "across town" from the Bayview, and the Chronicle says the warrant was served in Parkmerced, on the 100 block of Font Boulevard.
"An arrest is good, but this is just the beginning,” said the father of the boy, Jason Young, speaking to the Chronicle. "We still need to find out what happened on the Fourth of July for it to even mean anything, but the charges and making them stick are what’s more important — just to get justice for this little boy."
It remains unclear if the shooting was a case of mistaken identity, something entirely random, or if an intended target might have been someone else at the party that night. Police said last summer that they did not believe that either the young boy or the 39-year-old man who was injured in the shooting were intended targets.
District Attorney Chesa Boudin issued a statement on Harbor's arrest saying, "Tonight’s arrest is a first critical step in bringing justice to the Young family and is an example of what we can achieve when we work together."
The arrest will hopefully close the case on one of the year's most publicized and devastating killings in San Francisco — in a year when the homicide rate was about on par with the 2018 rate in the city, and slightly higher than 2019 when homicides were historically low.