Hoops star Stephen Powell's Pink Saturday slaying last year remains unsolved 

Deon Otis said he often thinks about Stephen Powell, the former San Francisco high school basketball player whose life ended in a hail of gunfire last year at the Pink Saturday street party.

But the slain teenager’s Amateur Athletic Union coach had even more reason to remember Powell recently.

De’End Parker, the former star guard at City College of San Francisco who was Powell’s close friend, is headed to UCLA on a basketball scholarship. Otis said he can’t help but think that Powell, who scored 50 points as a freshman in a high school varsity game, would have joined Parker in achieving success in college.

“It was the same kind of track that Stephen was on,” Otis said.

With the Pink Saturday festivities this weekend, Powell is on the minds of many in San Francisco, particularly family and friends who question why a homicide that occurred in the presence of a large crowd of people has remained unsolved one year later.

A killer opened fire into a large crowd at Castro and Market streets, killing Powell, who was targeted, and injuring two bystanders, a 29-year-old man and 19-year-old woman.

The shooting happened amid the annual Pink Saturday, a historically safe street party held on the Saturday night before the San Francisco Pride Parade.

Shortly after the killing, a 20-year-old man was taken into custody for weapons possession, but was found not to be the shooter.

Those who knew Powell say they believe police know who may have been responsible.

“They have names and addresses and everything, but never brought them in to question them,” Otis said.

The Pink Saturday violence also expanded into a shooting during the vigil for Powell.

As friends and family gathered at the intersection of Third Street and Quesada Avenue to mourn the young man, a van with two men pulled up and bullets were sprayed into the crowd.

One man was shot in the cheek and the other in the leg.

Police say the vigil shooting was gang-related and retaliatory.

The investigation into the Pink Saturday homicide continues, but police have been tight-lipped.

“It’s an active, ongoing investigation,” police spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield said. “They are still getting leads. They are working at tips. They’re not at dead end.”

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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