Friday, April 6, 2007

Welcome to San Francisco - Watch Out for Flying Bullets!

A quick little post here from Batshit City (courtesy of SF Examiner)....

SAN FRANCISCO (Map, News) - An exchange of words between people in two cars on Market Street rapidly escalated into gun violence during Thursday’s lunch hour, causing panic and sending passers-by running for cover.

The violence started when a white Pontiac containing three black males heading west on Market Street near Eighth Street passed a dark-colored eastbound car containing two black males, police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said. As the cars passed, words were exchanged and both cars stopped.

A man jumped out of the Pontiac and started firing at the dark car, which sped off, Gittens said.

“I saw one guy just running down the middle of the street, shooting with a gun,” said Anna Zatsephina, who works at Gold Diggers used clothing store. She said the man fired over his shoulder as he ran west.

Edgar Mallori, who works at the Subway sandwich shop a few doors down, said he heard three shots and saw people running on the crowded sidewalk.

The shooter jumped onto the hood of the Pontiac from which he had exited, Gittens said, and the car took off northbound on Larkin Street. “At some point, he fell off,” Gittens said.

He was last seen running west on Grove Street while the Pontiac continued up Larkin Street.

Police have not stated whether they believe the incident was gang-related (note: Wow... ya think?!?), caused by road rage or some other conflict. No passers-by were hurt, and Gittens said police do not know if any of the cars’ occupants were injured.

Police shut down the 1200 block of Market Street briefly to collect evidence following the shooting. As of press time, they had made no arrests (note: As usual).

The oft-maligned mid-Market area, long a target of those in favor of urban renewal, is home to thousands of people in apartment buildings and residential hotels, as well as small and large businesses, including restaurants, travel agencies, banks and the Orpheum Theater. The huge Trinity Plaza and Fox Plaza apartment buildings flank the block where the shooting erupted Thursday (note: in other words, this area is a total freaking slum).

The shooting is the second incident of daylight mayhem to shock a city neighborhood this year. On Jan. 11, a car chase through The City’s northwestern neighborhoods ended in a head-on collision and shooting in Russian Hill. In that case, a person in a sport utility vehicle shot into a Honda Civic after the Honda crashed into an oncoming Acura after it turned west on Broadway from southbound Polk Street.

The parties in the January incident knew each other, police said at the time, confirming the attack was not random or road rage. The details surrounding Wednesday’s shooting are unclear, Gittens said.

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