LaKesha Young cries during a news conference on the shooting death of her son, Jace, 6, on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

LaKesha Young cries during a news conference on the shooting death of her son, Jace, 6, on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Family of slain six-year-old boy seeks answers

‘He was going to be somebody’

Six-year-old Jace Young lived in a neighborhood that could feel like a world apart from the idyllic side of San Francisco.

He was from Bayview-Hunters Point, a historically Black area in the southeast corner of The City that has struggled with gun violence.

That contrast was no more pronounced than when Young was shot dead while watching fireworks with his family on the Fourth of July.

Now, his father is demanding justice and an end to the bloodshed.

“My son grew up in a different part of San Francisco,” Jason Young said Tuesday at a news conference along the waterfront.

“I’m tired of this happening to my friends, my family, my son,” he said. “Y’all have to stop.”

Jason Young speaks while District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton and Mayor London Breed comfort him. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Jason Young speaks while District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton and Mayor London Breed comfort him. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Jace was shot during a celebration on Whitfield Court near the 1200 block of Ingalls Street at around 10:44 p.m. Saturday, police said.

He was rushed to the hospital alongside another victim and later died. The second victim, a 39-year-old man, is expected to survive.

Police have released limited details from the investigation thus far but said Jace was not the intended target.

His family joined community members and city officials including Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton to demand answers.

The family chose to hold the news conference at Agua Vista Park in Mission Bay because Jace loved the water, his father said.

“My son was different,” Jason said. “He meant something, he was going to be somebody. I need everybody to understand that.”

Jason Young bows his head before speaking during a news conference on the shooting death of his son, Jace, 6, as family members console his wife, LaKesha on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Jason Young bows his head before speaking during a news conference on the shooting death of his son, Jace, 6, as family members console his wife, LaKesha on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Jace loved computers and playing video games like Minecraft and Roblox, his father said. He was a bright child who like learning and could light up a room.

“He made us smile when we was feeling bad, when I was down, when I was arguing with his mom,” Jason said.

His mother, LaKesha Young, sat in a chair during the news conference. She appeared to be overcome with grief and barely able to move.

Both Breed and Walton stressed that the “destruction” cannot continue in the neighborhood.

“We want this violence to end,” Walton said. “We want you to put down the guns.”

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Breed said she was excited that more people would pay attention to the issue with the Black Lives Matter movement taking hold nationwide.

“But then Jace, a six-year-old Black boy was killed,” Breed said. “Where is the outrage? If this boy was not Black, let’s be honest, it would have been a whole ‘nother story.”

Police have not made an arrest in the case or released a detailed description of any suspects.

But homicide investigators have obtained surveillance footage from the area and are interviewing witnesses, police said.

Several pieces of evidence have also been recovered and are being examined by the Crime Lab.

“When do we say enough?” Police Chief Bill Scott said. “We can’t accept this as normal in any community.”

Scott urged anyone with information to call 415-575-4444 or text tip411 and start the message with “SFPD.” Tipsters can stay anonymous.

The shooting remains under investigation.

“We will get justice for Jace,” Walton said. “You can bet on that.”

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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