San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said police are investigating a series of gang-related shootings. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Dozens of rounds fired in series of gang-related shootings involving rifles, SFPD says

Police link Bayview shooting to gunfire that injured bystander in Ingleside

San Francisco police are investigating a series of gang-related shootings in The City and elsewhere in the Bay Area involving dozens of shots fired and high-powered rifles, Police Chief Bill Scott said Wednesday.

At the Police Commission, Scott named two shootings in particular that investigators believe are connected — a shooting in which more than 100 shots rang out at the Alice Griffith housing projects and another involving 50-plus bullets fired along Ocean Avenue in Ingleside.

“It’s a significant concern for us to have that many rounds fired in any location,” Scott said, adding that investigators are working with other agencies in the Bay Area to identify the suspects involved.

Scott did not say where the other shootings happened.

The gang violence comes despite reports of crime falling overall in San Francisco during the coronavirus pandemic.

While crimes like homicide, burglaries and arson are up, total violent and property crimes are down in The City. Scott said 24 people had been shot this year as of May 17, compared to 32 in the same period last year.

“Overall shootings are down, but the shootings we have had are very concerning, particularly the number of shots that have been fired in some of these shootings and the type of weaponry,” Scott said.

Scott said police have identified the groups involved in the shooting series but are still seeking individual suspects. Also, police are working with the community to prevent gang retaliation.

There was also mention at the commission of the killing of well-known transit activist Courtney Brousseau, who was struck by a stray bullet when more than 50 shots were fired in the Mission in early May.

But Scott did not say that the shooting was connected to the others.

In a post on Facebook, Supervisor Shamann Walton said he was awakened by gunfire when the shots rang out at the Alice Griffith projects overnight April 28.

“I couldn’t quite wrap my hands around what the cause of the loud noise was, but I have gotten reports from neighbors and community that there were between 80-100+ rounds fired,” Walton wrote. “Cars were hit and we are fortunate that no one was harmed in this particular shooting.”

He has called for more police foot patrols and for officers to be stationed at hotspots in response to several recent shootings in the Bayview and other neighborhoods in his district.

“We will not tolerate this violence in our community and all of our community partners have to step up to keep community safe,” Walton wrote. “We need to increase our mediation efforts and we need to get these guns off of our streets!”

The related shooting in Ingleside happened last Tuesday, when a 50-year-old man walking down the street near Ocean Avenue and Jules Street was shot by a person in a vehicle, according to police.

The man was an innocent bystander and is expected to survive, according to Capt. Nicholas Rainsford, commanding officer of Taraval Station.

Rainsford said the shooting was the result of an altercation between people in two vehicles.

“We do not believe that this was a random incident and it was out of character for that area,” Rainsford wrote in a community newsletter. “It is our goal to identify those responsible and hold them accountable.”

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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