Courtesy Brousseau, shown here in November 2012, was injured in a shooting after leaving Dolores Park Friday. (Courtesy Michelle Saremi)

Transit advocate dies after being injured in Mission District shooting

Courtney Brousseau described by friends as ‘brilliant,’ ‘determined, eloquent’

A young transit advocate and Twitter employee who was struck by gunfire in the Mission District on Friday has died, according to authorities.

Courtney Brousseau, 22, was found by officers who were responding to a shooting at 14th and Guerrero streets that also injured a 17-year-old boy. Brousseau was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries; friends in contact with the family said that he was on life support.

Brousseau succumbed to his injuries Monday, according to police.

He was leaving Dolores Park after eating a burrito minutes before the reported shooting, according to a Twitter post. The shooting is under investigation, police said.

The shooting prompted an outpouring of support on social media from supporters and followers including state Sen. Scott Wiener and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director Jeffrey Tumlin.

“Courtney reminded me so much of myself at his age, only smarter, kinder, and more fearless.” Tumlin said.

Brousseau and BART Director Janice Li co-organized Gay for Transit, a group for queer individuals who share an appreciation for public transportation.

Friends described him as someone incredible, certain to effect change. His longtime friend and classmate Grace O’Toole said he was determined, passionate and eloquent — a person who not only cared a great deal about many things but acted on them.

“There was no question as to whether he would effect change in whatever area he chose. It was more where and when it would happen,” O’Toole said. “I was sure that I would spend my life reading about him and the success on the news and whatever areas he was thinking of applying to.”

The two had served on the Newbury Park High School newspaper, the Panther Prowler, where he led its website’s transition to WordPress when no one on the newspaper staff, including himself, knew the technology.

“His mind was brilliant,” his newspaper adviser and longtime friend Michelle Saremi said. “If he was told that something was too hard or it couldn’t be done or it was impossible, he’d research it, come back the next day and say it’s totally possible.”

On Twitter, she recalled feeling proud of Brousseau for standing up to his high school board and administration when they condemned the newspaper for publishing an article he wrote headlined “Let’s Talk About Sex Magazine.”

“Eventually, it kind of culminated in this in-person meeting where he went to the school board in public comment, and spoke his mind there,” O’Toole said. “He was determined, eloquent, never doubted that we were in the right. We should be standing up for free speech for students.”

When Saremi was to have her second child, he and O’Toole threw her an epic baby shower, she said. They kept in contact after he graduated.

“This is very tragic because he’s one of those students that you meet in your lifetime, that you just know is going to just change the world,” Saremi said.

She recalled meeting him in Chicago after graduation, and looking forward to seeing him again at the end of May before the coronavirus crisis.

“All that hope and excitement… all that hope is gone,” she said.

This story has been updated to include additional information on the condition of the victim.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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