Excelsior gunfight injures boy, 5, playing basketball

An afternoon gun battle on a crowded street in the Excelsior neighborhood resulted in 5-year-old boy being grazed by a bullet as he played basketball at Crocker Amazon Playground, San Francisco police said.

The boy, whose name was not released, was struck in the buttocks at about 12:45 p.m. as gunmen in two cars driving in opposite directions on Moscow Street opened fire, police said.

The youngster, who was with his family at the park, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, SFPD spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said.

Few details about the suspects or cars were available at press time, with police saying a partial license plate number of one car was recorded at the scene. The cars were described by witnesses as a black car and a white car, possibly a Camaro.

It remains unclear whether the incident was gang-related, Gittens said.

Eight yellow chalk circles were drawn on Moscow Street, just south of Amazon Street, marking the spots where eight shell casings were found. Gittens said there could have been additional bullets fired, since some casings may not have been found.

More than two hours after the shooting, the boy’s father was driven away from the scene in an unmarked police vehicle. The father, donning the jersey of San Francsico-born basketball star Jason Kidd, declined to comment.

Pete Pattis, who lives across the street from the park, was in his home office when he heard what sounded like a car backfiring, prompting a look out the window, he said.

“I saw a white car drive by. It went by so fast,” said Pattis, a real estate agent. “I think they fired eight shots.”

The shots were fired in a quick succession for what seemed about three seconds, Pattis said.

Resident Miguel Moriana, 33, who has a 9-year-old sister and 3-year-old brother who like to play in the park that features a playground, said the neighborhood needs more of a police presence.

“We need more cops in the neighborhood,” Moriana said. “There is not enough. It’s not safe.”

The City has seen a spate of shootings in the last weeks, with five homicides within a seven-day period last week.

Anyone with information regarding Wednesday’s drive-by shooting is asked to call 575-4444, police said. The general works detail is investigating, police said.

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