Manhunt underway after 3 people shot in San Francisco park
The gunshots rang out at around 3:00pm in Dolores Park near the statue of Miguel Hidalgo in the city’s Mission District Thursday.
No arrests have yet been made.
Two of the three victims who were shot are men and are in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital, authorities said. The third victim is a minor and information is being withheld on that person, Brent Andrews, a spokesman for the hospital said, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Several witnesses stated that about half a dozen men, some wearing bandanas to hide their faces, started shouting and acting threateningly on a bridge that leads into the park.
Hatter said several of the park regulars confronted the group on the bridge and that he personally heard people yelling. “I went up there to mediate and make sure everything was OK and nobody was fighting.”
As Hatter approached, he heard someone yell, “They’re strapped, bro!”
A second later, he said, one of the men drew a handgun and fired six to seven shots in quick succession. Hatter’s version of events were corroborated by multiple unnamed witnesses, according to the Chronicle.
Two people directly behind Hatter were struck. Hatter managed to escape with only some shrapnel to his leg, possibly 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, the Chronicle reported.
After the shootings, witnesses saw a car speeding away with a group of people inside, according to police spokeswoman Grace Gatpandan.
Antonia Juhasz, another witness, said she was sitting in the park reading when she heard the gunfire. Juhasz said she saw the person firing a handgun from behind the Miguel Hidalgo statue at the park.
Juhasz claims to have seen two of the victims, one man, who appeared to be bleeding from his chest and another who was being helped by paramedics. The victim with the emergency responders was covered in many bandages and “not looking good,” according to the Chronicle.
“The shooting happened on the bridge, the one that leads into the park,” Juhasz said. “Literally, the people were behind (the statue) in the middle of the day, the middle of the park, packed with kids, packed with people.”
Juhasz said many parents and children did not react fast enough to the danger because they thought the gunshots were fireworks. Other witnesses said it was the arrival of police cars which made it apparent that it was shots, and then people began to run for cover.
Juhasz said the police responded quickly to the incident.
“I’ve lived here for years, and this doesn’t happen,” Juhasz said, according to the Chronicle. “It’s awful, actually.”
Josh Long, who also witnessed the shooting, said he seen a man wearing a grey hoodie pulled up over his head. The hooded man was holding a handgun while he ran away over the bridge in the park and into the neighborhood.
Jason Lopezjones, a resident of the neighborhood, said that he heard at least six gunshots.
“It was all in a row,” Lopezjones said, the Chronicle reported. “I assumed it was fireworks because I can never tell the difference. Until I heard the sirens, then I knew what it was.”
“We need more police presence in the park because there are all sorts of shady characters and non-park-like activity when you think of a family park,” Lopezjones added.
In the hours following the shooting, crime scene technicians combed the scattered mess of backpacks and clothing surrounded the base of the Miguel Hidalgo statue where the three victims were shot.