Boy, 6, fatally shot on Fourth of July remembered for his smile, intelligence

A 6-year-old boy who was fatally struck by gunfire while watching fireworks in the Bayview on the Fourth of July was remembered Monday as an intelligent child who loved technology and could “brighten up a room.”

Jace Young was at a birthday party on Whitfield Court at around 10:44 p.m. Saturday when he was shot, according to police and his family. He was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died.

“Jace was a very bright young man destined for greatness,” his family said in a statement. “The kid who could brighten up a room with his smile and his blue glasses.”

“He gave us all that he could,” they added. “All that God put him on Earth to give us and now we are left to pick up the pieces.”

Young lived in the Hunters View housing projects, city officials said. His family has started an online fundraiser to collect donations for funeral arrangements, burial costs and to support his mother.

Young was one of two shot at the scene. An adult male was also taken to a hospital and is expected to survive.

Police have not released a detailed description of any suspect in the case or said exactly what happened, but Bayview Station Capt. Troy Dangerfield said that Young was “clearly” not the intended target.

“Who the target was we don’t know,” Dangerfield said during a virtual press conference Monday afternoon.“Our understanding is he was enjoying the night with other family members with fireworks.”

Supervisor Shamann Walton, who represents the area, said he has met with the family.

“This is a tragedy for the entire family,” Walton told reporters. “Right now everyone is just trying to cope with this, deal with this and let everyone know that this is a young Black man whose life mattered.”

Walton issued a joint statement alongside Mayor London Breed calling for an end to gun violence and a greater investment in the Black community amid the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We must do more,” the statement read. “A boy like Jace Young should have been able to grow up safely in his own community.”

Walton and Breed have called for redirecting funds from the police to services for the Black community.

The shooting also outraged The City’s top law enforcement officials and police union.

“Senseless violence like this that could so tragically claim the life of a small child is unacceptable in our city,” Police Chief Bill Scott said in a statement.

District Attorney Chesa Boudin said his office is “working hard to support his family.”

“But we can’t bring him back or make their family whole,” Boudin tweeted. “We must do more to decrease access to guns and prevent this senseless violence.”

The San Francisco Police Officers Association called for his killer to be “brought to justice.”

“Our kids should be able to watch fireworks in their own neighborhood without fear of bullets,” the union posted on social media. “Families should not live in fear at home and no family should suffer such irreparable heartbreak.”

The shooting was one of two homicides in the Bayview over the holiday weekend.

On Sunday night, a man was shot and killed on the 100 block of Giants Drive at around 11:04 p.m.

He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

The Medical Examiner’s Office has not released his name.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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