The mother of critically injured local football standout David Henderson said Tuesday that her son is a “mama’s boy” who was looking for a way to get her out of The City’s Bayview district.
Waiting outside the intensive-care unit hospital room, Qunzena Henderson said her son — the former Lincoln High School star — had received calls of interest from the University of Nebraska’s football program mere days before he was shot in the head Thursday in the 1400 block of Kirkwood Avenue.
David Henderson came back to San Francisco and began playing for the semipro Pacifica Islanders in January after his failed attempts to play football at the University of West Georgia and the University of Arkansas, according to his mother. He also was set to try out with the San Jose SaberCats arena football team this week.
As of Tuesday afternoon, David was in critical but stable condition at San Francisco General Hospital, where doctors had put him in a medically induced coma.
“David was like my twin. I never got mad at him about school, because I didn’t like school either,” Qunzena Henderson said, fighting back tears. “Why they would do this? Why would they shoot my baby down in the streets like that ... like he was a dog?”
David Henderson ran for a city-record 5,600 yards in his prep career, and led Lincoln to three straight Turkey Bowl titles.
David told The San Francisco Examiner in early May that he had resolved off-field personal issues that resulted from “hanging with the wrong crowd,” part of what got him benched during his 2009 sophomore season at City College of San Francisco.
In the article, David said he was hit hard by the murder of his 19-year-old cousin, Robert “Bezzla” O’Bryant, who was shot and killed in January during a party in the Bayview. In that case, police issued an arrest warrant for 20-year-old suspect Johnathan “John-John” Walker, who remains at large.
Qunzena said she doesn’t see a link between that incident and the shooting of David last week.
“No it’s not the same thing,” Qunzena said. “But everybody involved in this, they’ll will have to answer to God.”
Police have not identified a suspect in the shooting, and also have not officially named David as the victim, citing department policy.
Qunzena said she still has hope that David will make some kind of recovery.
“David is a survivor. I keep walking in the room and telling him, ‘Think football, think football,’” she said. “If he can think that, anything can happen.”