A man was shot in the chest in a hail of gunfire on a freeway offramp Thursday in The City’s third brazen daylight shooting of the year.
Police have not characterized the 1 p.m. attack at the Fifth Street exit of Interstate 80 as gang-related, but said it was “targeted,” and not a random shooting. Witnesses said a man jumped out of a minivan and pumped rifle bullets into a Dodge Charger, injuring the driver before jumping back in the van and pulling away.
The shooting is the third such daytime attack on an occupant of one vehicle from another. On Jan. 11, a daytime car chase ended in gunfire and a collision at the intersection of Polk Street and Broadway. Police arrested 23-year-old Justin Wilson for that allegedly gang-related attack. On April 5, a gunman jumped out of one car and fired into another car on Market Street between Eighth and Ninth streets.
Witnesses said Thursday’s attack took place in moderate traffic while cars waited for a traffic signal on the Fifth Street offramp near Fifth and Harrison streets. Police closed the intersection and surrounding streets for a block in each direction. At least 20 shell casings lay on the offramp.
A light blue Dodge Charger stood still in the middle of the intersection. Police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said it rolled after the 22-year-old black male driver was shot “numerous times.”
“It looked like an execution,” a woman who witnessed the attack said. “He was standing right over the car, shooting through the window.” The woman described the attacker as a “tall, thin African-American man with a cap” and said the alleged attacker fired what appeared to be an assault rifle.
Other witnesses said the incident started when a minivan pulled up next to the Charger while it was stopped at a red light. A man got out of the van’s sliding door and pumped bullets into the Charger until the light turned green.
Shawn Richard, founder of Brothers Against Guns, a San Francisco nonprofit that provides anti-violence training to at-risk youth, said he’s seen a rise in brazen behavior.
“It’s getting a lot bolder … they’re not really caring if they don’t see any police around, and if they see the person they’re out to get, they’ll get ’em.” Richard said.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency deployed six parking control officers for approximately two hours to divert traffic and to secure the scene, spokeswoman Kristen Holland said. Muni routes 27, 47, 12 and 9x were rerouted from 1:11 p.m. until 3:42 p.m.
Gittens said the unnamed victim was taken by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital.
Staff Writer Bonnie Eslinger contributed to this report.
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