Family, friends and teammates of local football star David Henderson, who was shot in the Bayview on Thursday and remains on life support, are rallying around him, saying he showed signs of progress over the weekend, and are planning a fundraiser for his family next month.
The shooting was reported Thursday at about noon in the 1400 block of Kirkwood Avenue, though police have not confirmed Henderson, 21, was the victim. Lt. Troy Dangerfield said Saturday that the shooting could have been gang-related.
Brian Martinez, president of Henderson’s minor league professional team, the Pacifica Islanders, said Monday that after visiting him in the hospital the day before, he showed small signs of improvement.
“His condition has progressed a little bit,” Martinez said. “I was there last night to see him, and they’ve weaned him off the blood pressure medication they had him on — so he’s stable.” Henderson remains on a respirator in the intensive care unit, he said.
The team had a barbecue in Henderson’s honor Sunday at Terra Nova High School in Pacifica, where a local pastor spoke to players “and gave them some words of faith,” Martinez said.
“The team is fairly devastated right now,” Martinez said, adding that Henderson’s mother, who never missed a game and was especially close with Henderson, is “dealing with this really hard.”
Henderson, a standout former running back at Lincoln High School, is now a speedster wide receiver and kick return specialist for the Islanders, helping them earn a spot in the upcoming league playoffs.
But Henderson also struggled earlier in his career with off-the-field issues, being benched during his sophomore season at City College of San Francisco for not showing up to practice.
Henderson told The San Francisco Examiner in an interview earlier this month that he “had a lot of distractions going on, hanging out with the wrong crowd” at the time. In January, he suffered tragedy when his cousin was murdered just after celebrating his 19th birthday.
Henderson said he had since become “very concentrated on getting my life together.”
He had recently been granted a tryout for the Arena Football League’s San Jose Sabercats.
“David just had a great attitude. He lived and breathed football,” Martinez said. He showed up early to practice and had an “ear-to-ear smile all the time — a great attitude, a real leader,” he said.
The Islanders’ June 25 game at 2 p.m. at Terra Nova High School will serve as a fundraiser for Henderson.
“We’re going to give all the proceeds from that game to David’s family,” Martinez said. Tickets are $10 for ages 12 and over, $5 for ages 6 to 11.